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Meet Elsa Alcala, the Former Texas Judge who Bailed on the Republican Party Because of Trump

Former Judge Elsa Alcala Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Elsa Alcala is a former Republican judge from Texas who has recently voiced her dissatisfaction with Donald Trump to the public. She has gone as far as describing his ideologies to be comprised of racism. Her disapproval of Trump and his administration is so great that it even drove her to leave the Republican party. She does not believe that the GOP is an inclusive party anymore. 

Alcala had spent 20 years as a GOP judge as well as working in a trial court and intermediate appeals court. Also, out of nine seats, she was one of the judges in one of the high courts of her state —  the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She upheld her position in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from 2011 until the end of 2018. Prior to her retirement, Alcala and Justice Eva Guzman were the only latinas in high courts of Texas. Now, only Justice Eva Guzman remains as a judge in the Texas Supreme Court. 

Elsa Alcala Republican
Photo via law.utexas.edu

After acquiring so much success within her profession and the Republican party, she just couldn’t do it anymore. Though she has stated that she is appreciative of the support she has previously received from the Republican party, she decided not to seek re-election and retire after 20 years serving as a judge because the current Republican party does not align with its past concepts. Part of her decision had to do with Trump’s tweets. 

In one of his more eyebrow-raising tweets, Trump recently wrote that four of our Democratic congresswoman of color should “go back” from where they came. This could have been one of the final straws for Alcala. 

“Trump speaks about brown people like me as lesser beings. It’s cliche to say, but the Republican Party left me,” Elsa Alcala shared these words with the Statesman.

Shortly after yet another tone-deaf tweet from Trump, Elsa Alcala wrote a few lengthy Facebook posts condemning her stance on the current GOP. She mainly focused on how she feels that the Republican party has lost sight of their original views. Alcala believes a lot of the members of the GOP standing behind Trump are only loyalists who are turning a blind eye to issues that really matter. 

The retired Texas judge even mentioned some of the reasons others might give her to try to dissuade her from her decision. She spoke about abortion and how neither the Trump or the GOP have any justification to speak on this issue. 

“Please don’t lecture me about abortion because today Trump’s actions are resulting in the deaths of live humans in other ways. There is no moral high ground by Republicans on abortion or the value of life,” she wrote on her Facebook page. She attacked the issues before they could attack her and I think that was very wise. I think that her being a judge for 20 years gives her decision-making some credibility. 

This isn’t the first time Elsa Alcala has used her fiery strength and position to voice injustices. While she was a judge in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, she spoke out about the unreliability of death penalty cases. She believed there were many discrepancies with the legal process during these cases and urged Texas to look into it. Since then, Alcala has worked with Texas Defenders Service its state lawmakers for a possible death penalty reform.

The present circumstance has led her to encourage the Democratic party to keep working hard for 2020 and not to lose sight of the ultimate goal — to remove Trump from office. Now that she’s dismissed herself from the Republican party, Elsa Alcala will vote Democratic in the next election after voting Republican for over 20 years.

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