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Posted on: January 25, 2017

HIDALGO COUNTY OPPOSES THE CREATION OF A 15TH COURT OF APPEALS BY BREAKING UP THE CURRENT COURT

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The 13th Court of Appeals has served 20 counties in the southern and eastern parts of Texas since it was created in 1963. It is the only all appellate court in the country to be comprised of all Hispanic justices, said Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez.

Now, House Bill 474 is seeking to break up the 13th Court of Appeals from five justices to three and create a new 15th Court of Appeals, separating predominately Latino counties from those that are predominately Anglo at a cost of approximately $400,000 annually to fund a new court.

"We (the members of the 13th Court of Appeals) feel that it's not right and that it adversely affects our area," said Valdez. "I respectfully, urge you to vote your opposition to the creation of a new appellate court by splitting the 20-county district encompassing the 13th Court of Appeals into two separate appellate court districts."

Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution in opposition to House Bill 474, stating: "House Bill 474 would adversely affect the citizens of Hidalgo County because it has a racially discriminatory effect and unconstitutionally dilutes minority votes."

"House Bill 474 provides no additional funding for the creation of an additional court and would thus be inefficient and costly for the citizens of Hidalgo County and the State of Texas."
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