An Indian-American judge in Harris County, is running for the Texas Supreme Court on grounds that the high court is “out of touch with the needs of everyday Texans.”
Judge Ravi K. Sandill, a Democrat who describes himself briefly as “a Texan, husband, dad and cancer survivor,” says he is running “to restore balance to the Texas Supreme Court.” There are 9 Supreme Court justices and all of them are Republican. If he defeats his Republican opponent who was first elected in 2012, Sandill will become the first Indian-American on the state’s highest court.
He has served as Judge of the 127th Civil District Court in Harris County since 2009 and is the first ever district court judge in Texas of Indian-American or South Asian descent. He was re-elected in 2016, and if he loses this November, he will continue to serve in his current position.
Sandill is pitted against incumbent Judge John Devine who occupies ‘Place 4’ on the bench. Both candidates are unopposed in their parties, and will go on after the March 6 primary, to battle each other into the Nov. 6 elections.
Sandill grew up on military bases throughout Texas, attended college in Austin, and graduated from law school in Houston. His father, Retired Lt. Col. Brij Sandill, served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force for a combined 28 years, according to his Facebook page.
“The Texas Constitution tells us that all political power is inherent in the people. Yet, the Supreme Court of Texas is increasingly out of touch with the needs of everyday Texans,” Sandill says on his.
Democrats winning a judgeship appears a “long shot” the Houston Chronicle reported in November, but that party hopes that “demographic shifts to a younger and more diverse population and an opposition to Republicans who control the state and the White House could make way for higher Democratic turnout to give the justices a chance.”
“We’ve got a bully in the White House. We have a governor that’s a bully,” Sandill is quoted saying in the Nov. 28 article in the Chronicle, adding, “Texans stand up to bullies.”
Sandill contends on his website that after nearly a quarter century of one-party rule, “our state Supreme Court increasingly caters to an extreme, special interest agenda and is ignoring its duty to the nearly 28 million Texans it is elected to serve,” and this applies on issues from public school finance to equal protection under the law, where “the Court has failed to do its job.”
He wants to be the “independent voice” on the bench, he said.
Sandill graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998 and did law at the University of Houston Law Center. He also worked in the private sector.
“Although I don’t have an opponent in the #primary, please go out there and #vote. There are many candidates that care about our country and state. Please vote for them. It is time that re-election stop being the main goal of our elected officials. #tx2018,” Sandill tweeted Feb. 22.
Sandill has been touring his constituency visiting Austin, El Paso, Lubbock and the Rio Grande Valley, speaking to voters about the importance of the 2018 election, and says he sees an “energy and desire for change in our state government.”