In the appointment of the judge to fill the seat of the newly created County Court at Law #7, it has become clear that the County Commissioners’ Court is making the process about political calculations rather than merit.
In the running for the position are former 13th Court of Appeals Justice Linda Yañez and lawyer Rolando Cantu. Linda Yañez has served almost 18 years on the bench and has three decades of legal experience. She has 2 law degrees, including a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia Law School in the Judicial Process and has taught elementary school in the Valley and law at Harvard Law School. She is currently serving as a Visiting Judge in Hidalgo, Cameron and Starr Counties. Since January, 2011 she has moved a docket of over 1500 cases for Hidalgo County citizens. Mr. Cantu, with no experience in a judge’s seat, pales in comparison.
“We took on this issue,” says LUPE Executive Director Juanita Valdez-Cox, “because politics should not have a role to play in appointments.” Appointments should be based on experience and qualifications, and based on her qualifications, it is glaringly clear who the appointed judge should be, she says.
“We understand that the Commissioners are making it political.”