About The Committee For A Qualified Judiciary

The CQJ is a non-partisan, non-profit, independent organization.  It was formed in 1982 for the sole purpose of promoting a competent, fair and impartial justice system in Dallas County.  The CQJ provides the voters of Dallas with information needed to elect qualified judges in both political primaries, runoffs and in the general election.  The CQJ only addresses the qualifications of candidates for the judgeship they seek.  More than one candidate may be determined to be qualified for any particular judgeship, or no candidates may be determined to be qualified.  The CQJ does not recommend to voters the best candidate in any race.  Instead, the mission is only to serve as a gatekeeper to make sure that the public is advised about any or all candidates who are determined to be qualified.

On the heels of an election in which several highly qualified judges were swept out of office, political activists of both parties began to discuss a process that would help to better inform the electorate about judicial candidates.

Thanks to the support of many civic leaders, the CQJ was formed, with over one hundred civic leaders, lawyers, business men and business women at the first meeting.

Selecting and electing qualified candidates for judicial office, regardless of political party on the basis of competency and merit was the original stated goal of the CQJ and continues to be the force which drives the organization.

Each candidate for judicial office in Dallas County is sent a lengthy, in-depth questionnaire which seeks relevant information about the personal and professional experiences to better gauge their qualifications for office.  While the process is voluntary, most candidates participate fully.

The Judicial Evaluation Committee is then divided into panels for each race.  Generally, each panel consists of a lay person and one familiar with the substantive area of law involved.  The candidates are interviewed by the panel.

After the panels have completed their evaluations, the entire Evaluation Committee meets to consider whether to approve each candidate, requiring a two-thirds vote.

The recommendations of the Evaluation Committee are then voted on at a meeting of the general membership, where again a two-thirds vote is required for CQJ approval.