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Judge Ravi Sandill Announces Bid for Texas Supreme Court

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By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: In a post made yesterday on his Facebook page, Judge Ravi “R.K.” Sandill, who presides over a civil docket in the 127th District Court in Harris County, announced his candidacy for the Supreme Court of Texas, Place 4.

Sandill is the only South Asian on the Bar in Harris County having first been elected in 2008 and was re-elected this past November for a third term. He has held that office for almost 9 years and does not have to resign to rum for this election.

His candidacy marks the first time that an Asian has run for the Texas Supreme Court or any office higher than Mayor of a Texas city, as former Sugar Land Councilman Harish Jajoo unsuccessfully did last year. In the past 20 years, many Asians have sought out, and have successfully been elected to, many public positions in Texas, notably in large metropolitan areas.

According to the latest census information, Texas has a population os 25,145,561 of which 70% are White, 37% Hispanic, 11% Black and 3% or 964,596 are Asian.

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The Supreme Court of Texas is the court of last resort for civil matters in the State of Texas. The Court was established in 1840 and is composed of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. The Court meets in downtown Austin,  in a building located on the state Capitol grounds, behind the Texas State Capitol. Currently the Chief Justice is Nathan Hecht and each judge is elected for a 5 year renewable term. Of the nine judges, 6 were appointed by former governor Rick Perry, two are women (one White and the other Hispanic), the rest are White males and all are Republicans.

The Place 4 position that Sandill is contesting is currently held by John P. Devine, 59, of Harris County, who won in the election in 2012 without a Democratic opponent and assumed office on January 1, 2013. He is married to a former Venezuelan, Nubia Piedad Gomez Devine and they have 7 children. The last Democrat to hold this position was R. Gonzales who left office in 1998.

Sandill’s parents immigrated from India and his father Brij retired as a Lt. Col. from the US Army and the US Air Force after serving 28 years. Ravi spent most of his childhood in Texas and received his bachelor’s in government from the University of Texas in Austin and has been a member of the State Bar of Texas since 2001. He later attended the University of Houston Law Center to receive his Jurisprudence degree. He fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, in 2002, and has been in remission since 2003. He is married to a fellow lawyer, Kelly, and the two have a son, Asher.

In his Facebook post, Sandill said it was time for a change and that he was running “to restore an independent voice to our state’s highest judicial body and to focus on the rule of law, rather than a fringe ideological agenda.”

 “The Supreme Court of Texas is elected to serve all of the nearly 28 million residents of our great state,” he continued. “Yet, after more than two decades of one-party rule, today’s Court is increasingly out of touch with the needs of everyday Texans.”

“On issues from public school finance to equal protection under the law, our state Supreme Court is ignoring its duties and instead catering to an extreme, special interest agenda.”

Sandill concluded that he is “a Texan — the proud son of immigrants — who grew up in a military family that knows the meaning of service. And I am running to serve all Texans.”

To contribute to his campaign or volunteer, visit www.sandillfortexas.com.

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