November 24, 2017

Confusion Reigns in Texas Redistricting while Lana Shadwick Files for Judge of the 179th Criminal District Court

Lana Shadwick Files for the 179th Criminal District Court

Texas Redistricting is a mess. No one seems to know which end is up when it comes to when and where to file. Maybe even what race to file for. Amidst all this chaos, one thing is clear – Judge Lana Shadwick has filed for the Republican nomination for Judge of the 179th Criminal District Court in the Harris County Republican Primary. During an informal filing ceremony, Judge Shadwick was joined by members of her family and volunteers from the campaign as she filed her forms, submitted petitions and paid her filing fee.

Shadwick’s campaign, now officially underway, has already garnered county wide support from key Harris County Republicans. She has earned the endorsements of leaders like former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt and County Judge Robert Eckels, State Representative Debbie Riddle, District Clerk Chris Daniels, County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners, Constable Ron Hickman and many others… She has been endorsed by recognized conservative legal scholars like retired Justices Paul Pressler (Fourteenth Court of Appeals) and Tim Taft (First Court of Appeals). Shadwick has been endorsed by over 175 of the party’s precinct chairs, senate district chairs, SREC members, grass roots activists and Tea Party members of Harris County.

Shadwick signs filing forms under the watchful eyes of her parents, volunteers and the images of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. On the wall behind the group are former chairs of the Harris County Republican Party including former Chairman and US President George H. W. Bush.

Shadwick’s conservative credentials cover 35 years of Republican political history. “My parents are conservative and have always voted Republican. In 1976, I asked my father who to vote for when casting my first vote at age eighteen. He told me to vote for the Republican presidential nominee, President Gerald R. Ford.”  Shadwick comes from a background of solid family values.  Her parents, Bobby and Joyce Shannon, have been married for 58 years and have attended Pastor John Morgan’s Sagemont Church since 1969.  Bobby Shannon also passed along his interest in firearms and the 2nd Amendment to his daughter, teaching her to shoot in her early years. Mr. Shannon has been a “Life Member” of the National Rifle Association for fifty years.

Bobby & Joyce Shannon with their daughter Lana Shadwick

Her parents said, “We are very proud of Lana. She has worked hard all her life to get to this point.  Her life experiences and education bring her unique qualifications to serve in this position of great public trust.” They continued, “Lana has always excelled at everything she does.  She will make an outstanding criminal court judge.”

Shadwick currently works in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. However, being a judge is not about being a second prosecutor in the room.  A judge must administer justice, not prosecute the law. Her prior experience as a Houston Municipal Court Associate Judge and a Harris County Family Court Associate Judge has taught her how to weigh the law fairly and firmly.  She understands the adversarial role of our judicial system and the judge’s position as an umpire.  She has managed large case loads and court staffs.  And most importantly, as an appellate attorney in the District Attorney’s Office, Shadwick understands how to avoid many types of errors judges can make leading to reversal on appeal. Visit her website for a complete review of her qualifications.

Shadwick poses with the images of two of her heros, Presidents Ronald Reagan (for whom her daughter Reagan is named) and George W. Bush.

Shadwick brings the voters of Harris County a clear choice.  She brings a broad base of experience and knowledge for making the life altering decisions a felony criminal judge must make. She has a judicial temperament that will establish confidence that justice will be served.

Shadwick’s campaign is moving strong across Harris County as chronicled on her website and Facebook page.  She was recently featured on TexasGOPVote in its “Voice of the Conservative Vote” segment.

Fiscal Conservative Lana Shadwick signs her filing papers with an inexpensive stick pen!

As you can tell, the filing event was a lot of fun. But running a campaign is very hard work and demands much personal sacrifice. The election of judges affect the lives of many people.  You must now decide who will represent you on the bench.  Get informed.  Be involved.  Vote!

Lana Shadwick will return to the bench and be an outstanding criminal court judge for the State of Texas and the people of Harris County.  I am proud to share her story with you and give her my personal endorsement in this race.

Religious Freedom Reigns Supreme at Houston VA Cemetery

Religious freedom was affirmed once again at the Houston VA Cemetery as US District Court Judge Lynn Hughes signed off on an agreement between Houston veterans and volunteer groups and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The groups had accused the VA of religious censorship through the banning of the words Jesus and God from burial services at the Houston National Cemetery. For more background on these allegations, click here.

Steve MuroThis agreement preserves VA policy that families’ wishes are paramount when their loved ones – our nation’s heroes – are laid to rest,” Steve Muro, VA’s undersecretary for memorial affairs, said in a prepared statement“This agreement respects the important principle that the family’s wishes for religious observances at the committal services must be honored, which VA has fought to protect from day one.

Many would dispute that point as Houston National Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio went out of her way to interfere with the religious wishes of family members of our fallen heroes.

Congressman John Culberson

Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) had previously gone undercover and found that the Obama Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs are not being honest with the American people. Congressman Culberson went undercover on July 8th, 2011 at the Houston National Cemetery and he says, “Right in front of me, the VA directly and deliberately attempted to prevent the VFW from doing their magnificent, spiritual ritual over the grave of this fallen hero.” Click here to listen to his story.

After the agreement was settled, Culberson had this to say, “I am glad the lawsuit is over and grateful that Judge Lynn Hughes has ordered the VA to stop interfering with our veterans’ funerals. It is deeply disappointing that it took a lawsuit to force the VA to do the right thing. I plan to change the law to ensure that the federal government cannot interfere with our veterans’ funerals, and I will also work to have Arlene Ocasio removed. Under her direction, the cemetery chapel was closed and used for storage, and she has repeatedly prevented prayers from being said over the graves of our veterans.”

Under the agreement, the local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 and Houston National Memorial Ladies will resign from their positions as official VA volunteers and will be able to, as private citizens, provide their own texts of recitations to funeral homes for the use by Veteran’s families as they choose.

Judge Lana ShadwickJudge Lana Shadwick, candidate for the 179th Criminal District Court said, “This agreement restores the rights of the families of our honored veterans to practice their religious freedom at our National Cemetery without interference from the government.”  Shadwick continued, “Freedom of Religion is the foundation of our 1st Amendment rights. These rights must be protected at all times and government officials should not ever be allowed to practice censorship of religious services.”

The agreement also states the VA agrees “Not to ban, regulate or otherwise interfere with prayers, recitations, or words of religious expression absent family objections”.  The agreement allows families of fallen veterans to hold services with any religious or secular content they want.

Pastor Dave WelchHouston Area Pastor’s Council Executive Director, Dave Welch had this to say about the decision, “We applaud the outstanding legal work performed by Liberty Institute on behalf of not only the plaintiff organizations but on behalf of all of us. The egregious violations of First Amendment religious and speech freedoms by the VA via Ms. Ocasio were an affront to every person buried at the National Cemetery and the sacrifice of their families. The good news is that the Consent Decree by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes assures that these freedoms will be protected in the future in Houston; the reality is that the national VA policies toward religious expression still reflect a growing hostility that is rampant in our federal government. This battle was won, however there is still a war and we must press forward on land, sea and air to return our nation to reverence of our Judeo-Christian foundations and faith.”

Director Ocassio had converted the long-used chapel into a storage room/meeting facility. The agreement calls for the Bible, cross and Star of David to be returned to the chapel, and that the chapel will no longer be referred to as a “meeting facility”. The Bible, cross and star will be visible in the chapel and available to the families for their use.

The agreement does not agree with the disposition of demands for the resignation or termination by protesters of Director Ocassio.  The VA referred to this as “an internal matter”.  Shouldn’t the public have the right to know what will happen with her?

This is a victory for religious freedom in America and for the 1st Amendment’s protection of the rights of the individual from governmental censorship.