Wednesday , 25 April 2018

Voters Face Tough Choice in Appeals Court Race

By Brian Bearden, TSB Contributor

SMU Law School grads David Evans and Bill Whitehill squared off in Allen recently to gain voters in their race for the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals.

The Place 2 winner will be decided in the Tuesday, July 31th runoff election. Early voting runs from July 23 through July 27. A vote by mail option is available for those who will be out of town during the voting period, who are over age 65, or who are disabled.

Situated in Dallas, the Fifth Court of Appeals is the largest court of appeals in Texas, with 12 Justices and one Chief Justice, and serves as the intermediate appellate court serving Collin, Dallas, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties.

Whitehill said because of the size of the area covered by the court, its opinions have an impact statewide.

Whitehill summed up what’s important for the Allen and McKinney audience.

“People have not changed in thousands of years. Liberty, freedom, family and God – those are the things that need to be protected by the Constitution,” Whitehill said.

To protect liberty and freedom, each supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the concealed handgun license (CHL).

“I have a CHL and have had one for years, and I have a safe full of guns,” Evans said.

Senate candidate Ted Cruz said, “You know you are in Texas and with people who believe in the Second Amendment when both candidates for judge are packing.” Cruz followed Evans and Whitehill at the last McKinney tea party meeting.

Whitehill and Evans said they will not legislate from the bench.

“Every trial judge is a Democrat in Dallas County,” said Whitehill, citing case after case where judges are attempting to change the law in their courts. “There are some funny rulings down there that will be coming through the appeals court.”

Evans said that’s a shame that judges are making laws.

Evans said, “I did not legislate from the bench. Lawyers came in asking for me to legislate from the bench. I wouldn’t do it. Now, we have a runoff and one of us has to go on to beat the Democrat who is in the race.”

Whitehill said he sees “Obamacare” as being unconstitutional.

“We were told it was not a tax,” Whitehill said. “Now, we are told it is a tax. The voting population was disenfranchised. If we had known this was a tax, we might have voted against it.”

Evans, a district judge in Dallas County from 1994-2006, said the Supreme Court ruling is a mess.

“You have a Supreme Court opinion saying it is a tax and not a tax,” Evans said.

Evans said when technology changes, a judge must look at the intent of the founders of the Constitution.

“The police don’t need a search warrant when it is in plain sight,” Evans said. He pointed up, asking what about drones in the sky when it comes to plain sight?

“When you have drones now circulating above, I think they should have probable cause,” Evans said. “Technology has moved on – now the police can use heat sensors, radio reception, wireless phone reception. None of these are specifically addressed in the Constitution.”

Evans has the endorsement of The Dallas Morning News.


Whitehill said that when a statute becomes law, 182 legislators have played a role in making that statute the state’s public policy and the governor has signed it into law.

“That statute can come before the court of appeals to decide whether that statute is valid, what does it mean, and how does it apply,” Whitehill said. “There will be three justices hearing the case. Very few people will know who those justices are and even fewer will have paid attention to the election process. Yet, those three people in effect have the power to remove that statute from the books or to interpret it in a way that that the public or the legislature ever intended. It is important to know who those justices are, to know that they have the correct understanding of the court’s limited constitutional role and that they have the judgment, common sense, experience, integrity, analytical skill, academic excellence, and decide the case correctly.”

Whitehill said he is running for this court because: “This court’s job is to defend the rule of law, a bedrock to our country’s success and survival. It must decide the cases appealed to it and it must explain its reasoning in a public opinion. Its opinions are binding on all of the trial courts in this appellate court’s jurisdiction and have a state wide impact. Those opinions must be clear, concise, and consistent so people can make informed decisions about their how to run their businesses, plan their lives, and protect their property.”


David Evans is a trail steward for Audubon. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Greek studies from Connecticut. At the Dallas Theological Seminary, he majored in Hebrew and Greek studies before graduating from SMU’s Dedman Law School School. He was editor of the Journal of Air Law & Commerce. … He has been a precinct chair and has never voted in a Democratic Primary. … He taught law at Emory.

Bill Whitehill grew up in Houston and was graduated from Texas with a business degree in finance. His early years of work include cutting yards, bussing tables, cleaning pools, working at the Houston Ship Channel and serving as a YoungLife volunteer. He served as president of North Texas Taping and Radio for the Blind, Inc. (now named Reading and Radio Resources, Inc.) and as a director of The Girls’ Adventure Trails, Inc. and Family Legacy Missions International, Inc.



Whitehill family wearing white and standing.  (Whitehill campaign)

Evans family sitting. (Evans campaign)

Photos at McKinney-Allen meeting by Brian Bearden:

Whitehill hearing from Curtis Rath and more voters.

A tea party member letting Evans where he stands.

Whitehill sitting with family and listening to Ted Cruz at the McKinney tea party meeting in Allen on July 3.





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