Justice David J. Schenck
Since graduating first in his class at Baylor Law School, Justice David J. Schenck has built a reputation of integrity and independence throughout his expansive three-decade career as a tough but fair legal mind who calls them like he sees them, free of bias or outside influence. He led the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Constitutional body that oversees the behavior of all judges in Texas. He is the only candidate who has never been sanctioned for ethics violations and who\se age would make him eligible under the Constitution to serve the term and avoid a subsequent appointment by whoever might be elected Governor in 2026.
A strict, conservative constructionist, he is an ethical, principled stalwart who is applauded for standing up against cronyism and any form of the “pay for play” politics that are far too common today. He has served the Constitution as an advocate for recognition of the Second Amendment in the first federal appellate case (Emerson) over Texas ever to so hold, and again as lead counsel to Texas State Rifle Associatiom and 42 other state associations before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Heller case He stood up for religious liberty as pro bono counsel to First Liberty.
Appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals by Governor Rick Perry in 2015, Justice Schenck was elected to a full term in the largest appellate district in the state in 2016 demonstrating his ability to succeed in a tough election and ro lead major battles over upholding the Constitution while on the bench (google “Justice Schenck does not pull punches”). Prior to that, his career spanned the full scope of legal experience, from private practice to public service at the highest levels of state government.
Known and respected for both his legal expertise and his leadership, Judge Schenck oversaw key practices ranging from litigation to appeals for private law firms. In 2010, he joined the Office of Attorney General Greg Abbott, serving as Deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel for two years as chief legal counsel to the AG. He also led the team defending the state’s redistricting plans.
Justice Schenck has received the highest-possible "AV" rating from Martindale Hubbell, reserved for attorneys who have reached the highest levels of professional excellence, skill, and integrity. His pro bono work promoting access to legal services for the poor also earned him the State Bar of Texas President’s Award, the organization’s highest honor.
Justice Schenck has previously served on the adjunct faculty of the Southern Methodist University School of Law and the University of North Texas College of Law. He is board certified in appellate law (civil), a member of the American Law Institute, and a Master of the Bench of the Patrick Higginbotham Inn of Court, and repeatedly included in various “best’ and “Super lawyers”’ lists. He served also as Chairman of the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the body responsible for oversight of the State Judiciary. Over the years, he has made his positions on judicial integrity, competence and the need for reforms to promote public confidence well known including his 2022 race for the Texas Supreme
His track record leaves no doubt about his commitment to the Constitution, the rule of law, and the right of all Texans to an honest, competent, and impartial judiciary. As the TLR Advocate recently summarized, he "is a skilled and competent judge with over 25 years in private practice and government service". "Republican Justice David Schenck is arguably the most qualified Justice who's ever sat on the 5th Court of Appeals" (Texas Lawyer, 2015)
Justice Schenck has been tested and proven that he does not bow to pressure or yield to efforts to compromise his oath. Even a cursory review of his opinions confirms his commitment to all the people of Texas. As the Texas Civil Justice League recently observed "Justice Schenck does not pull punches" where the rights of Texans to independent and impartial justice are concerned.
For more information, please read about Justice Schenck's Campaign Message, view Justice Schenck on The Jeff Crilley Show, and review selected Recent Media Coverage, including "The verdict is in. This judge rules" by Dave Lieber for Dallas Morning News.