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Home » 2018-03-06 Republican primary » Texas » Court of Criminal Appeals Justice - Place 8 » Judge Dib Waldrip

Judge Dib Waldrip
Party Republican
Website JudgeDibWaldrip.com
Born New Braunfels
Education Texas A&M, St. Mary's
Occupation Judge
Religion Christian
Marital Married
Children 4

Judge Dib Waldrip

declared

God has blessed my life with great health, a wonderful family and a rewarding career in criminal justice. My wife, Grace, and I are extremely proud of our daughter and three boys--our daughter graduated from Texas A&M, one son is a sophmore there, the third child is a sophmore in high school, and the fourth is a seventh grader.  In one fashion or another, our entire family has been involved in Young Life Ministries since 1984. We attend Oakwood Baptist Church. I helped to found the Comal County Children's Advocacy and the Sexual Assault Response Team. I have served on the Advisory Board of Options For Life in New Braunfels, the Boards of Directors for the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, the Comal County Junior Livestock Show and the New Braunfels F.F.A. Booster Club, and I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the McKenna Foundation.

I am a rock-solid conservative, and I come from a long line of Texas lawmen and judges--dating back to the Texas Revolution. Like them, I am dedicated to seeking truth & justice, law & order and honor & excellence. After graduating from Texas A&M, I became a police officer before going to law school.  I started my legal career at the Courts of Appeals in Amarillo and El Paso "ghost" writing hundreds of appellate opinions. Next, I ran a narcotics task force covering five South Texas counties and was elected District Attorney of Comal County in 1996.  In 1995, I became a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I served as District Attorney for 10 years until Governor Perry appointed me District Judge for the 433rd District Court where I currently serve.

As District Attorney, I personally conducted in excess of 100 felony jury trials, including capital murder, solicitation of capital murder, aggravated sexual assaults and aggravated kidnapping convictions.  I also personally and successfully defended those convictions when appealled.  Governor Bush nominated me to attend the F.B.I. National Law Enforcement Academy. Later, Governor Perry appointed me as one of his three advisors to the Texas Violent Gangs Task Force and to the Criminal Justice Advisory Council (now, the Specialty Courts Advisory Council) where I also served as Chairman of the Legislative Subcommittee.

As District Judge, I have presided over many, many felony jury trials (virtually, every other week for the past 11 years) and civil jury trials as well.  I developed the Challenge Court for those with the mental illness of an addiction to alcohol or drugs where criminal justice joins with treatment hoping to provide a longer term solution of sobriety. I also developed the T.E.X.A.S. Court for lower-level yet high risk offenders to provide (T) tough (E) enforcement with (X) extra (A) accountability and (S) sanctions to provide strict boundaries and maintain compliance. With assistance, I also pushed and founded the Comal County Client Choice program--a free market economy approach where indigent defendants choose their court "appointed" counsel so that the attorneys know they must always try to do a better and better job in order to obtain their next "appointment."  Doing so generates both efficiency and effectiveness throughout the criminal justice system.  I also served a 6-year term on the Criminal Law Commission for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and I chaired the state-wide commission that governs admission to the specialization for the final 2 of those 6 years.

I am the only candidate for Place 8 on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that is Board Certified in Criminal Law.  I am the only candidate that has the combined experience as a police officer, an elected prosecutor, and an elected judge as well as an appellate attorney.  As such, I know how to catch'em, clean'em and cook'em!

While my credentials from the past are unmatched, it is my Christian virtues and conservative values that light my path and guide my future to keep our families safe, our communities secure and Texas strong.

Respectfully, I ask for your vote.

Judge Dib Waldrip

 

MCTP PAC Rating of: 83 Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2018-01-16 06:18:08

 

Pros

  • Folksy character w/a wide variety of LE experience, from police officer to DA w/trial court experience, to District State Judge(433rd - Comal County) that appears to be well qualified to sit on the Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Demonstrable Christian values & service.
  • Believes that “natural law” (given by God) is supreme
  • Constitutional originalist
  • Anti welfare state – for small government. Advocate of personal responsibility.
  • Sitting District Judge who hears criminal cases frequently.  He should understand the Constitutional issues that come before the court in the proper context because of his trial experience.
  • Experience working for Court of Appeals (Amarillo.& El Paso) just out of law school
  • Only candidate Board Certified in Criminal Law.
  • Initiated process nationwide whereby indigent defendents were able to select their court-appointed attorneys, rather than the latter being...  More

Video Interview Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2018-01-16 06:18:52

 

Campaign Finance Reports Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2018-03-16 02:30:32

    2017                           2018

                                                    

   Jul - Dec                 30 Day Report     8 Day Report

 

Questionnaire

General

Please describe the qualifications and experience that make you the best candidate for the office you are seeking.

I am in my 11th year as an elected District Judge.

I served for over 10 years as an elected District Attorney.

I was a police officer before attending law school.

I worked for 2 1/2 years for the Texas Courts of Appeals.

I have attended the F.B.I. National Law Enforcement Academy.

I am the only candidate that is Board Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist.

I served on and chaired the state-wide Criminal Law Commission that governs admission to the Board of Specialization.

I am a Judicial Fellow with the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

I was named Prosecutor of the Year in 1995 by the Texas Narcotics Officers' Association.

I am President of the Texas Association of Specialty Courts.

I regularly provide legal instruction to the State Bar, the Texas Center for the Judiciary, the Office of Court Administration, the National College of District Attorneys, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, the Texas Justice Court Training Center, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Probation Association and the Texas Association of Specialty Courts.

I am a leader, who as a judge, understands how to apply the law only as written on a case-by-case basis, yet I also have the courage to be engaged in improving and developing the entire criminal justice system with specialty courts, free market economy approaches to appointment of indigent counsel, etc.

Do you think judges should be elected by the people, or appointed by a commission?

Fundamentally, I believe the people have the right to vote on all members of government from each of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. It is, however, concerning that some judges are voted in by little more than name identification of association--regardless of qualification or lack thereof.  One potential solution to obviate the move for a system of appointment is to have the legislature set up, as one of the criteria or qualifications to run for a judicial office, a requirement to be vetted by a commission of current and/or former judges that could objectively publish the candidates relevant experience.

What differentiates you from your opponents?

No other candidate has experience as a law enforcement officer or as an elected prosecutor.

Neither of my opponents are Board Certified as a Criminal Law Specialists.

Neither of my opponents have tried in excess of 100 felony trials to a jury resulting in more than 100 felony convictions as I have done.

Neither of my opponents have personally and successfully defended, on appeal, those convictions.

I am the only candidate that has the combined credentials from the past along with the conservative values and Godly virtue to direct the future that will best serve this state to keep our families safe, our communities secure and Texas strong.

Please describe the changes you will make to improve the efficiency of your court, yet remain thoughful about rulings/orders - that allows all parties to be heard and their arguments considered. Please specifically address how many days a year your court will be “in session.”

At the Court of Criminal Appeals as well as all lower courts, the integrity of the process is of utmost importance and far more crucial than the result in any one case. Especially at the top criminal bench of our state, the judges, as will I, must seek to become proficient more so than being solely efficient or merely effective.  The Court of Criminal of Criminal Appeals is technically in open session only one day per week for oral arguments, and the remainder of the caseload is handled by and through the judges' weekly conference with the remaining three days per week left for generating decisions on both direct and collateral attacks presented to the Court.  My work ethic, instilled from a very young age, commands that I will be a faithful, dedicated and thoughtful public servant who adheres to the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Texas to ensure that both quantity and quality are provided to the citizens of Texas and ensure proficiency in all rulings and orders of the Court.

Are the United States and Texas constitutions living documents? Please answer in the context of Progressivism versus Originalism.

No--our constitutions serve as foundations to be applied consistent with the framer's intent to ensure that the law may be objectively applied to all cases through out time regardless of cultural norms of any given day.

Please describe what you believe are the most significant issues in this race, why and what you'll do to address them?

Judicial races should turn first on strength of character and second upon credentials.  Without the courage to stand behind one's conviction, credentials become rather meaningless.  Winston Churchill said, "Without courage, all other virtue loses its meaning."

I will first assure Texas voters of my courageous virtue and devotion to God, country, community and family emphasizing the God-given rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all.  Secondly, I will boldly place my unsurpassed credentials up against those of either opponent and let the voter decide.

What Texas State court decision do you think has most impacted society? How and Why?

I will think on this one--it is a very broad topic for discussion.

As a judge, what do you believe the goals of the criminal justice system should be?

First, it is to see that justice is done.  "Justice" enures to multiple calsses of people--the community, the victim and the defendant.  For the community, justice must be objectively firm and fair, and government resources should be wisely expended.  Prosecuting individual cases because we truly "should" not "merely" because we can ensures that society and the community properly preserves its limited resources. For the victim, justice requires an appropriate degree of retribution to attempt to right a wrong.  Balancing the need for a victim's healing with the potential harm caused by forcing confrontation in court requires the exercise of wise discretion to achieve real "justice" in any given case. For the defendant, justice requires genuine accountability in a manner that ensures that personal constitutional rights are abided such as the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, presumption of innocence and the right to remain silent.  True justice requires absolute integrity in the process for all.

Apparently in conflict with current pratice in the courts Art. 19.27. of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure states "ANY PERSON MAY CHALLENGE. Before the grand jury has been impaneled, any person may challenge the array of jurors or any person presented as a grand juror. In no other way shall objections to the qualifications and legality of the grand jury be heard. Any person confined in jail in the county shall upon his request be brought into court to make such challenge." What is the practical application of this statute?

While "any person" plainly means just what it says, the practical effect and application of the statute is to require that any person who wants to challenge the array first learn of the time, date and place in which the array of persons subject to being on a grand jury is to be assembled so that any challenge might be lodged before the grand juors are chosen and actually impaneled.  This includes any person in jail so that if he or she wishes to challenge the array he or she must timely request to be brought to court in order that any such challenge may be properly made.

Who or which class of Texan does the Code of Criminal procedure 20.09. have in mind when it mentions "any Credible Person". How does the particular class invoke initiation of a Grand Jury investigation? CCP Art. 20.09. DUTIES OF GRAND JURY. The grand jury shall inquire into all offenses liable to indictment of which any member may have knowledge, or of which they shall be informed by the attorney representing the State, or any other credible person.

The word "credible" is not specifically defined in the Penal Code or the Code of Criminal Procedure.  Thus, it would ultimately be left up to the grand jurors to decide whether a person, in any given situation, was deemed by them to be credible such that the grand jury should inquire further into any potential indictable offense.

5th Amendment- due process

CSPOA says "Civil forfeiture laws pose one of the greatest threats to property rights in the nation today. They encourage law enforcement to favor the pursuit of property over the pursuit of justice, and they typically give the innocent little recourse for recovering seized property. And without meaningful transparency, law enforcement faces little public accountability for its forfeiture activity or expenditures from forfeiture funds." How should these Civil Forfieture issues be addressed?

The legislture can increase the burden of proof to that of clear and convincing evidence if it desired to enhance due process in the protection of privte property rights.  Further, the legislture could impose strict readiness-for-trial guidelines to expedite the matters.  By combining these suggestions, the government would be encouraged to attempt to forfeit property in which it has a very strong and quickly provable case that the proerty is, in fact, contraband and not innocently possessed and used private property.

Ethics

Is there anything in your background of an embarrassing nature that should be explained before your election? Arrests/Convictions? Bankruptcys?

No arrests--no convictions--and no bankruptcies.

How will you improve the transparency and access to financial and other records for the public?

Judges are required to follow the law as written, including those regarding the transperancy to certain records.  To the extent improvement in that area is needed, I will certainly work with legislators, as may be approrpiate and abiding by the separation of powers doctrine, to write laws for the future.

Please list Civic, Political or union organization or individuals to whom you have contributed (five years).

I have never contributed to a union.  I regularly contribute to Oakwood Baptist Church and Young Life Christian Ministries, and I have contributed to Christian Youth Theater, Communities in Schools, and Options for Life.  I also contribute to the Comal County Junior Livestock Show Association and Texas Education, Athletics and Mentoring Youth Foundation.

Politically, I contribute to the Republican Party--local, state, and national.  Within the last five years, I have also contrubuted to Governor Perry, Governor Abbott, Senator Cruz and President Trump.

What standards of behavior would you impose on yourself—inside and outside the courtroom?

Regardless of the setting, I am courageous & brave, faithful & loyal, honest & transparent and reverant & temperant.

Other

Among the nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court(SCOTUS), which one do you respect the most, and why? Which one do you respect the least, and why? What judicial philosophy should a SCOTUS Justice have?

Currently, I am excited and most respectful about Justice Gorsuch because he appears to be much like Justice Scalia and his committment to the intent of the framers of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I tend to have the leaset respect, if you will, for Justice Kennedy because he is all too often in the middle of the road.

As a judicial philosophy, I believe a Justice on the United States Supreme Court should consistently apply the plain meaning of the Constitution and Bill of Rights as written such that they are a foundation for the objective application of all other laws guarding against the influence of the cultural norms of any decade or century.

To what extent do you believe the state or federal government should be able to obtain court orders directing parents to do things for their children that the parent does not believe should be done?

Only if there is objective and verifiable proof that a child is being abused and/or neglected in a manner that is clearly and objectively detrimental to the immediate health and welfare of the child should a court order a parent to do anything regarding the child, i.e., food, water, and shelter.

What carries the greatest influence on your ruling: case law, the Constitution, or other?

The plain meaning of the written Constitution and the Bill of Rights influences me most.

Please explain your view of recidivism and how it affects the sentences you give.

"Crime" if you will has been with us since Adam and Eve failed to heed God's law or instruction to not eat of the forbidden fruit.  Then, Cain killed Able.  Both "crimes" were serious, but Cain's would have been "scary" to those offended while God was probably not scared by the violation of his instruction. Rather, God was more likely than not just "mad."

Analogously, we too can segregate recidivists into those broad categories--those repeat offenders that "scare" us versus those that simply make us "mad." Judges should be innovative within the laws as written to find a solution rather than merely identifying the problem.

Even for first time offenders that are convicted of a crime that scares us, the defendant should be locked up and warehoused for as long as the law allows and the facts warrant. Reserving our limited prison resources for these criminals will allow us to impose longer prison stays for those that really need to be there so as to both protect the community and punish the offender.

For offenders that are merely knuckleheads and make us mad, it has been shown that swifter punishments are much more effective rather than holding out for more harsh punishments.  Imposing some sanction quickly and coupling that punitive measure with efforts to prevent recidivism best serve the community as a whole for the longer term.  Yes, be punitive, but also pull the root of the problem rather than merely picking the fruit. 

What role should government have in reforming criminals?

Personal responsibility means just that--one must be individually and personally responsible not just for today but also for tomorrow. Unfortunately, government has caused, over the long term, people to become enabled to avoid personal responsibility.  The welfare state continues to grow and is detrimental to personal responsibility.

Accordingly, our government needs first to reform itself to stop individuals' unhealthy dependence on government programs.  Since the end of the Depression, government has offered programs that cause more and more unhealthy reliance on a federal government that was originally intended to secure our borders, defend its people and deliver the mail.  It will take at least that long--75 years to turn it around.

While doing so, the best way government can go about reforming others, including criminals, is to focus on prevention. In other words, revisit certain laws and regulations that unnecessarily turn otherwise law-abiding people into criminals.  Secondly, government must improve the method that it "educates" or attempts to educate society.  Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman often explained that government subsidies of the supply-side (rather than the demand-side) of any issue would follow Sir Isaac Newton's theory that if left alone, all things deteriorate because the supply would have no incentive to improve--no competition.  This means that government, if at all, should subsidize the demand which would inherently force the supply to improve in either quantity, quality and/or convenience.  Allocate education dollars per student and allow parents to spend those dollars as they see fit rather than as school administrators see fit.  Thus, educators in different schools will improve to keep up with their competition. By improving education, students and parents will ultimately become more self sufficient and personally responsible.

This is very "big picture" philisophical theory, and it will take another 75 years to reverse the past.  However, government attempts to be "small picture" reformers of criminal behavior is likely to exaccerbate rather than to help the situation.

What is the job of a judge?   What is your judicial philosophy?

Follow the law.

I adhere to a natural law theory of judicial philosophy which dictates that there is, first, a natural law that trumps man-made law. In other words, there is a Creator who has imposed laws that must be adhered to prior to imposing man-made law.  

Otherwise, I am an originalist when it comes to understanding and applying the Bill of Rights and the U.S. and Texas Constitutions.