Our friend and former colleague, Jennifer Walker Elrod, has been nominated to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jennifer is a 1988 graduate of Baylor University (Economics) and a 1992 graduate of Harvard Law School. After her two-year clerkship with U.S. District Judge Sim Lake (of Enron fame), she was an associate at Baker Botts LLP in Houston. She was appointed to the 190th District Court in Houston, Texas in March 2002 and was elected to a four-year term in November 2002. Beyond that, Jennifer has been extremely active in the Houston community; according to a press release from Baylor when she was selected as a Distinguished Alumna, "Elrod served pro bono as the first General Counsel to Communities in School-Houston, and she was chair of the board of the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation. In 2004, The Houston Young Lawyers Association named Judge Elrod the Woodrow Seals Outstanding Young Lawyer of Houston, and [in 2006] she was honored as an Extraordinary Mother by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Houston."
And even beyond that, Jennifer was a great role model to me when I became a working mother, having preceded me in that noble profession by a year or so. To celebrate the other half of her life, I am posting two photos of her: her professional photo and a photo of her holding my son at 8 months. (Wasn't he a bruiser?)
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1. Posted by cindy s. on April 1, 2007 @ 15:44 | Permalink
Qualifications should always prevail for these presidential lifetime appointments. In Judge Elrod's case, it did not. Her nomination is a slap in the face to those who stood in line, worked hard, & supported the party. She's very very fortunate!
2. Posted by Allen Reynolds on April 2, 2007 @ 14:34 | Permalink
Sorry, but that reads like someone is just plain jealous. There is no "line" for appointments to the bench, and qualifications mean more than seniority and supporting the party. Temperment, for instance, credentials, work ethic and intelligence. There are no doubt several others who are qualified for the bench, but just because your favorite wasn't picked is not a slap in the face. In this case, it's just a good pick.
3. Posted by cindy s. on April 2, 2007 @ 19:00 | Permalink
It's not the issue of jealously, because I don't know her personally. The issue for me as a young African-American attorney & many of my friends & colleagues in the legal community, is observing African-American state court Judges continually being overlooked for (lifetime) federal bench seats, especially the 5th Circuit. If this administration (i.e. Fred Fielding, John Cornyn, Kay Baley Hutchinson) would consider, Justice Wallace Jefferson, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice George Hanks, Judge Levi Benton, Judge Belinda Hill, Judge Michael Fields, & many many others for the nominations, they will no doubt find impeccable qualifications & resumes. Without diversity in these high level courts, we all suffer.
4. Posted by Jake on April 2, 2007 @ 20:46 | Permalink
I clerked for a federal judge, now retired, who described himself as a "person of color." He is a fine man who served in Bobby Kennedy's Justice Department, and later issued many well considered decisions in his years on the bench. But I've never heard The Judge talk about "diversity" on the bench, only merit.
5. Posted by cindy s. on April 3, 2007 @ 16:32 | Permalink
All previously mentioned, would qualify on merit alone. However, for people of color, merit seems to mean nothing in being considered for the federal bench. And if race was never an issue, a more diverse group of judges would stand before you today.
6. Posted by Historian on April 5, 2007 @ 9:30 | Permalink
A number of women lawyers (law clerks and lawyers) have commented favorably on Judge Elrod as a role model for professional women raising families and managing careers. She has managed to remain active in her community, her church and the local bar while raising two children. Among a mostly male federal bench (and a bench that is generally past the age of having to balance work with family life), that is important.
Part of Judge Elrod's judicial appeal is her community service and her reputation among state and federal judges. State judge Mark Davidson, among others, have publicly made much of her work ethic (a la Rosenthal) and her hard-core judicial integrity. She had a great reputation as a federal law clerk in Houston, both with her judge (Sim Lake) and among other federal judges who knew her. Also, having a Harvard Law JD didn't hurt.
7. Posted by E. MAYS on April 23, 2007 @ 4:44 | Permalink
I know her personaly for about one week in her Court hwee she heard testiomony from a former Porn Maker who admitted to lieing to her Insurance Company to pocket many thousands of dollars and was now sueing me for more. Judge Elrod ignored the evidence presented which consisted of photographs, cashed checks, and the womans own testiomony that she lied, and then Judge Elrod screamed at me for making her late for adinner date when I wanted to cross examine the woman. The following day Judge Elrod let the woman de dismissed and not ahve to return to Court as she told Judge Elrod she had activities with her child at school. So here I was defending myself in a lawsuit and the woman who sued me did not even have to appear back in court. It was obvious her Attorney Brad Beers and Judge Elrod had already decided my fate. Justice or what was Right has no place in Judge Elrod's Court. If your attorney is on her side, you will win even if you commit Insurance Fraud and then to top it off the woman walked out on her mortgage spending the Fraudulent money, not spending one penny on repairing the home. Most of Judge Elrod's award was over turned but they still allowed too much and now we wait as Attny. Brad Beers witht he Help of Jennifer Elrod comes after us for all he can.
Now someone please tell me why you would want a Judge like Jennifer Elrod in a higher court. When someone admits to Insurance Fraud you do not reward them for it unless you are in Judge Elrod's Court.
8. Posted by E. Mays on April 23, 2007 @ 4:53 | Permalink
I appologize for the mis-spellings and want you to know that Justice in Houston, Texas is a thing of the past. Everything I hear about Judge Elrod is a joke as to what we were subjected to that week in her Court. And believe me, she let me know it was "HER" Court. For any Judge to sit up there and email folks while a case is going on, and ignore testimony of Fraud and Theft, then reward that person because the other side made you late for a dinner date, should be considered a criminal act in itself. We have nothing for them to take but that has not stopped Judge Elrod from helping Attorney Brad Beers come after us causing all the hell they can to us. I cannot even get my V.A. Benefits as my records seem to have been burned. But Mr. Beers wants anything we have to live on, and is being assisted by this Judge you all claim to be so respectable. Judge jennifer Elrod heard of crimes committed and looked the other way, that should make her an accomplice.
9. Posted by deborah latham on April 27, 2007 @ 23:32 | Permalink
I watched Bill Moyer's Journal on PBS Friday night, & have two words to describe why Judge Elrod got the nomination over more qualified candidates, "Federalist Societ". Can you say "Bushie Loyalist"? It's shameful!
10. Posted by deborah latham on April 27, 2007 @ 23:34 | Permalink
I watched Bill Moyer's Journal on PBS Friday night, & have two words to describe why Judge Elrod got the nomination over more qualified candidates, "Federalist Society". Can you say "Bushie Loyalist"? It's shameful!