SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS 
                               Monday, March 7, 2005 
                           2:00 p.m. or upon adjournment 
                           Capitol Extension, Room E1.016 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Nominations  
         was held on Monday, March 7, 2005, in the Capitol Extension,  
         Room E1.016, at Austin, Texas. 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Jon Lindsay                     None 
         Senator Bob Deuell 
         Senator Gonzalo Barrientos 
         Senator Kevin Eltife 
         Senator Mike Jackson 
         Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. 
         Senator Jane Nelson 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 2:27 p.m. There being  
         no quorum present, the following introductions were made:   
         The following members arrived after the roll was called: Senator  
         Barrientos at 2:36 p.m., Senator Lucio at 2:38 p.m. and Senator  
         Nelson  at 2:39 p.m. 
         Chairman Lindsay announced to the committee that because of  
         conflicting schedules, introductions of nominees by their  
         respective Senators would be made as the Senators were  
         available. He recognized Senator Troy Fraser who made the  
         following introductions: Ida Carter, Lucy Cavazos, Clay  
         Nettleship, Woody McCasland and Skipper Wallace, all nominees to  
         the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Kel Seliger to introduce  
         James Herring, Seliger's  constituent and nominee to the Water  
         Development Board. 
         At 2:34 p. m. roll was called, a quorum was present and the  
         following business was transacted: 
         Senator Eltife moved adoption of the minutes from the previous  
         hearing; without objection, at 2:37 p.m., it was so ordered. 
         Chairman Lindsay announced that the committee would take up  
         pending business from the previous hearing. At 2:38 p.m. the  
         committee voted by 5 ayes, 1 present not voting and 1 absent to  
         recommend the nominees to the Commission on Jail Standards to  
         the full Senate for confirmation. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Jeff Wentworth. Senator  
         Wentworth introduced Justice Wallace Jefferson, appointed as  
         chief justice to the Texas Supreme Court. Chairman Lindsay  
         introduced the second nominee to the Texas Supreme Court,  
         Justice David Medina. Both Justices gave brief remarks about  
         The Chair recognized Senator Barrientos who asked Justice  
         Jefferson his thoughts on reforming judicial selection in Texas.  
         Jefferson responded, saying he had spoken to Justices Hill and  
         Phillips and was planning to conduct a study on how the rest of  
         the country was approaching this issue. Jefferson said that  
         compensation does need to be increased but that, even with this  
         caveat, we have a great system in Texas. 
         Senator Barrientos referred to Justice Medina and himself as  
         BOIs and asked Medina to explain that to the committee. BOI  
         means born on island, offered Medina. Barrientos asked Medina  
         what cases he had argued for Cooper Industries. Medina replied  
         that they were mass tort cases- toxic tort and environmental  
         litigation. He explained that Cooper Industries is a  
         manufacturing company that manufactures many different products  
         from lighting products to generators, adding that Cooper  
         Industries owns right to the name Thomas Alva Edison. Barrientos  
         asked how the state was doing in regard to air quality and other  
         environmental issues. Medina answered that in many counties,  
         such as Harris, we are not doing as well as we should. He noted  
         that Cooper Industries did not contribute to any air pollution. 
         Barrientos asked Jefferson what he thought was the most  
         important judicial decision. Jefferson answered "Marbury vs.  
         Madison" a decision that gave the judiciary the right to  
         judicial review. Barrientos referred to a "60 Minutes" episode  
         that alleged that the Supreme Court in Texas was for sale and  
         asked Jefferson for his thoughts on the matter. Jefferson's  
         response was that the television show aired when he was still in  
         law school and that he felt that, today, the justices sitting on  
         the Texas Supreme Court possessed the greatest intellect and the  
         highest integrity of anyone he has ever known. 
         Barrientos questioned Medina about separation of church and  
         state and Jefferson about the basics of the state of Kentucky  
         and the U. S. Supreme Court decisions on the ten commandments.  
         Barrientos asked Medina and Jefferson if the government has any  
         legitimate reason to use race as a consideration for  
         under-representation. Both justices replied that as jurists they  
         would uphold the laws of the United States. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Vice-chairman Deuell who asked both  
         men if there was anything in the Texas constitution that  
         mentions separation of church and state and the answer was no. 
         Senator Lucio was recognized by the chair to ask Jefferson about  
         campaign reform and if Jefferson favored partisanship over non-  
         partisanship elections. Jefferson replied that he would not take  
         a position on this issue during this session, that there is a  
         wider variety of issues that need more time to review. Lucio  
         posed the same question to Medina who said he thought the  
         current system works fine and provides for checks and balances.  
         Lucio then asked both justices if their staffs would be  
         sensitive to contributions from companies who have cases before  
         their court and their reply was affirmative. Lucio asked  
         Jefferson and Medina to work with the Senate to bring some  
         resemblance of order to the situation. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized  Senator Nelson who agreed with  
         Jefferson about liking elected judges and about the need to pay  
         them a higher salary. She questioned Jefferson about what,  
         besides pay, would be an incentive for judges to remain working  
         in Texas. Jefferson replied that higher technology would be an  
         attractive incentive. 
         The chair recognized Senator Mario Gallegos who said that  
         Senators Barrientos and Lucio had already asked the questions he  
         wanted answered and that he also wanted to congratulate his good  
         friend David Medina. 
         Senator Nelson moved that a vote be taken on the Supreme Court  
         Justice nominees. At 3:10 p.m., by a vote of 6 ayes, 0 nays and  
         1 absent, the nominees were passed on to the full Senate for  
         Chairman Lindsay recognized the nominees to the Water  
         Development Board, James Herring and Jack Hunt, then informed  
         the committee that Mr. Hunt could not appear before the  
         committee because of medical reasons. 
         The chair recognized Senator Barrientos who asked Herring if he  
         was related to Charles Herring. The answer was no. 
         The chair asked for a motion. Senator Eltife so moved and at  
         3:15 p.m., by a vote of 7 ayes and 0 nays, the committee  
         recommended Herring and Hunt to the full Senate for  
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Ken Armbrister to introduce  
         the following nominees to the LCRA: Katura Carlton, Linda Raun,  
         Walter Garrett and John Dickerson. The chair asked the five  
         members who had served a year or  more to sit in the front and  
         answer questions. The chair asked first, if they would make any  
         changes to the LCRA, and second, to identify what they  
         considered as the main problems. Garrett said that the  
         availability of water is the biggest issue. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Barrientos who said the growth in  
         the Hill Country was going to occur whether or not the LCRA  
         provides water and then asked if the LCRA would provide the  
         water. Nettleship replied that their mission is to be the lowest  
         cost utility provider, adding that they were not land use  
         regulators but land use providers. Barrientos stated that  
         because the LCRA offers the best vehicle for responsible water  
         provision he was filing a bill to give the LCRA more tools and  
         At 3: 30 p.m., Senator Eltife moved that a vote be taken on  
         nominees to the LCRA. By a vote of 7 ayes and 0 nays, the  
         nominees were recommended to the full Senate for confirmation. 
         At 3: 31 p.m. a vote was taken on the nominees from the  
         following non-appearing entities: the Second Administrative  
         Judicial Region, the District Attorney for the 31st Judicial  
         District,, the Board of Nurse Examiners, the Texas State Board  
         of Pharmacy, and the School Land Board. By 7 ayes and 0 nays  
         they were passed on to the full Senate for confirmation. 
         At 3:40 p.m., there being no more business, the Senate  
         Nominations committee recessed subject to the call of the chair. 
         Senator Jon Lindsay, Chair 
         Jazen Wood, Clerk