The Second Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court and ruled that Arlington's term limits remain intact! Judge Walker heard the case and ruled against the plaintiffs who sought to overturn Arlington's term limits.
The plaintiffs argued that the language of the term limit charter amendment would remove Capehart and Shepard, because they had served more than 12 years, and the term limits would kick them out a year early.
However, the City of Arlington did not seek or accept any applications to file for those two seats, and those two individuals are in office today. In finding for the City of Arlington, Judge Walker granted a plea to jurisdiction and summary judgment in the alternative.
The Court of Appeals stated that the summary judgment was inappropriate but otherwise agreed with Judge Walker.
About the Case
This suit was never about 'saving' Capehart or Shepard, but always about getting rid of term limits in general so supporters of the establishment could establish new term limits that were more relaxed and allow the current crop to start counting the years from their current position and make the terms longer.
While people can and will argue that a lawsuit is frivolous, this suit was always frivolous, and obviously so. No one can state with a straight face that ANYONE believed that Capehart and Shepard were about to lose their seats, and no adult voter would argue that an election should be overturned based on exaggerations or even lies stated by one side or the other while electioneering. If we could prove someone lied during an election and then overturn it on that basis, we'd never have a completed election this side of eternity.
While we would like to hope that the plaintiffs and the attorneys doing this work have been sufficiently embarrassed and this suit ends now, the plaintiffs can still attempt to appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court would not have to accept that appeal and can simply deny the effort, which is what we expect, but one never knows. In any case, we can be thankful for Tarrant County's judges!
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