The front line

Even though Associate Justice Bill Vance announced back in October he would not seek a fourth term on the Waco Court of Appeals, the remains of the jurisprudential feud between he and Chief Justice Tom Gray continue to reverberate in appellate circles.

Just today, the Texas Supreme Court granted the City of Waco’s petition for review filed in City of Waco v. Kelley, in which Chief Gray began his dissent from the majority in the opinion below by paraphrasing the majority’s opinion this way:

Dear City of Waco,

Congratulations, you have prevailed on your legal argument that the hearing examiner’s judgment reducing Kelley’s indefinite suspension to only 180 days and demoting him to sergeant was not authorized. Because you prevailed, he is not demoted and you have to take him back as a commander. You were victorious in this battle, so you lost the war.

Sincerely,

A majority of the Justices on the
Tenth Court of Appeals

Chief Gray concluded his dissent with this follow-up letter to the City of Waco:

Dear City of Waco,

Sorry to put you through this, but you are going to have to go to the Supreme Court in Austin, again. The Tenth Court of Appeals in Waco has some problems right now that I hope are fixed real soon. But for now, you are in the appellate district that was reversed in 2006 more often than any other appellate court in Texas. I have done what I could, by writing lots of dissenting opinions, but it has not really helped the situation any. Good luck on your trip to Austin.

Sincerely,

The dissenting Chief Justice

Thx to SCOTX Blog

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