Candidate Profile
Steve Smith

Republican , Texas


Steve Smith
Judge, Court of Crim. Appeals, Place 5

Panel Rating

Conservative Information icon

Selected Contributions


Goh Conservative PAC, Greg Abbott, John Raney, Local, County, and District Republican Organizations, Republican Women's Organizations
Republican Women's Organizations







Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Election of judges by the people for a definite term of office is the best way to select judges.

Strongly Agree

Which current justice on the U.S. Supreme Court best reflects your judicial philosophy?


Which of the following U.S. presidents best reflects your political philosophy?


The founders established pure democracy in the Constitution because they believed that it is the best form of government to ensure the safety and equitable treatment of all citizens.

Strongly Agree

Free enterprise and the right to private property turn mankind's natural self-interest into the most productive economic system there is.

Strongly Agree

George Washington's comment that “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” is still true today.

Strongly Agree

Islamic law (Sharia) does not pose a threat to the United States and its Constitution.

Strongly Disagree

Based on the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, please arrange the following entities, starting with the highest source of authority, and continue the list in descending order of authority, skipping any that do not apply: Academia, Congress, Constitution, God, Industry, Media, Professional Sports, Supreme Court, Voters.

God, Constitution, Voters, Congress, Supreme Court.

What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?

The natural instinct of those granted exclusive and unchallenged power to, at some point, abuse that power.

What is the proper use of legislative history in interpreting statutory law?

In short, very limited. Legislative history is resorted to only if the text is ambiguous or its literal meaning would lead to absurd results. See, for example, my opinion in Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services v. Mega Child Care, 145 S.W.3d 170, 177 (Tex. 2004) ("If the statutory text is unambiguous, a court must adopt the interpretation supported by the statute's plain language unless that interpretation would lead to absurd results.")

What specific text in the Declaration of Independence provides the critical basis for individual rights and the form of government guaranteed in the United States Constitution?

The preamble, which provides that: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."

In which partisan primary election did you most recently vote (e.g. Democratic, Republican, etc.)?


The U.S. Constitution and my state constitution should be interpreted as living documents, rather than use a strict constructionist or originalist philosophy.

Strongly Disagree

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges allowing members of the same sex to marry, which justice’s opinion in that case most closely approximates your understanding of marriage?

Justice Alito's dissent

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I am a lifelong Baptist, and believe that the values, lessons and examples set forth in the Bible should undergird all actions that a person takes in their personal and professional life.

Considering all issues (social, economic, national security, etc.), which of these best describes you?

Very Conservative

Please defend your answer to the previous question by referencing your publicly available track record.

I. I filed, litigated and won the landmark Hopwood case that eliminated racial preferences in admissions and scholarships at Texas universities between 1995 and 2003. I filed the suit and litigated it for nine years because I believe that all Texans will be better off in the long run if their government ceases today to classify its citizens on the basis of race and ethnicity. II. I served on the Texas Supreme Court from November 2002 through December 2004 and authored sixteen published opinions. While on the Court, I was known as one of its most conservative members. My judicial philosophy mirrored that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia: textualism and rejection of the liberal "living constitution" theory. III. Over the past six years, I have served (without compensation) as lead attorney for IRCOT in its taxpayer challenge to the in-state tuition and higher education grants given to illegal aliens residing in Texas.

E-mail address and phone number for voters to reach you., 512.923.0544

Additional comment from candidate:

After the 2014 Republican primary election, conservatives lost control of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). Therefore, it is important that Republican primary voters elect a proven conservative in the current race for CCA Place 5. At this time, the CCA consists of four Republican conservatives, four Republican moderates, and one Democrat. I entered the race for Place 5 to ensure that Republican primary voters had a conservative choice. I am a recognized expert on the Texas Constitution of 1876, have significant legislative experience that the other candidates lack, and am the only candidate in the race with prior high court experience. For more information about the CCA in general and my race for Place 5 in particular, visit


  • University of Texas School of Law, Austin Texas, JD w/honors, 1986
  • University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington Texas, BBA Finance, 1983
Work & Military
  • (Candidate did not provide)
  • Texas Legal Guide, Editor
  • Texas Legal Foundation, President
  • Texas Supreme Court, Held 2002-2005

Get Reminders

From important news to voting dates and reminders, iVoterGuide equips you to make an impact and a real difference in every election.
Join Now