Jimmy’s approach to being a judge—his judicial philosophy—is firmly grounded in the text of the Texas Constitution. Our Constitution’s very first words are the best place to start:
“Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas, do ordain and establish this Constitution.” – Preamble, Texas Constitution
Before it says anything else, our Constitution humbly asks for the blessings of Almighty God. After acknowledging our need for God’s blessing, the preamble makes clear that the People of Texas have established their own government. The People are not ruled by the government, and we are certainly not ruled by judges. Instead, the People use laws to rule over their government, including the courts. In other words, the courts of Texas do not belong to the judges or the lawyers. The courts belong to the People.
This revolutionary idea of rule by the People—known as popular sovereignty—was pioneered by the founders of our great Nation, who established the United States in the name of “We the People.” The Texas Constitution contains an excellent statement of this fundamental principle of our system of government:
“All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.” –Article I, Section 2, Texas Constitution.
Because the courts were established by the People and belong to the People, the proper role of courts is to faithfully apply the People’s laws—and nothing more. We are a State ruled by laws, not by men. As Alexander Hamilton recognized in Federalist No. 78, the role of courts is to apply the will of the People, not to impose the will of judges. That is because the People have consented to be governed by our Constitution and by the laws enacted through the legislative process established in our Constitution. We have not consented to be governed by what judges think is best for us, or by a “living constitution” that changes any time enough judges decide it should change.
“The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78
Guided by the text of the Constitution, judges must work hard to apply the People’s laws accurately and impartially. Judges must also vigorously defend the unalienable constitutional rights guaranteed to the People by our founding documents—rights like the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to keep and bear arms. As a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Jimmy Blacklock will always strive to put the People of Texas and our Constitution first. He will never exceed the limited role assigned to the judiciary by our Constitution. And he will never waver in his dedication to uphold the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.