A crony of Religious Right pseudo-historian David Barton will not be joining the Texas Supreme Court.
Rick Green, a former Texas state representative and “Christian nation” advocate, narrowly lost his bid for the bench earlier this week to state Supreme Court incumbent Paul Green (no relation). This is at least the second time Rick Green has run unsuccessfully for the positon.
That Green was very nearly elected to Texas’ highest court is somewhat shocking. The Dallas Morning News noted that he has been described as a “serial abuser of ethics standards.”
Indeed, Green has quite a checkered past. While serving as a state representative from 1998-2002, Green was accused of using his office as the backdrop for a dietary supplement commercial. He also drew criticism when he asked the state parole board to grant early release to a man who had defrauded investors but also made a $400,000 loan to a company owned by Green’s father. Purely coincidence, I’m sure.
But that’s not all. While in office, he pressured state agencies to assist one of his law firm’s clients, supplement maker Metabolife International, and he asked lobbyists to donate to a private foundation he started.
Thanks to these impressive accomplishments, Texas Monthly once put Green on its list of the ten worst lawmakers in the state, the Morning News said.
Green, a Republican, has always denied any wrongdoing. But he lost his reelection bid in 2002 – to a Democrat.
And if you thought Green’s troubles were limited to his time in office, you would be wrong. The Texas Observer reported that during Green’s campaign for the Supreme Court this time, he presented himself as conservative both socially and fiscally. Yet, records show, Green is having trouble paying back a loan of nearly $500,000 that he received from the city of Gonzales in 2014 to renovate a local hotel and restaurant. It seems that business hasn’t been doing so well, leaving Green in financial trouble.
That Green will not be taking a seat on the Texas Supreme Court is great news for everyone. Aside from his ethical lapses, Green is a devotee of Barton – the Texas-based phony historian who claims the United States was founded to be an officially “Christian nation.” Barton’s WallBuilders website lists Green as a “national speaker, author, and radio host” who “travels the nation speaking for David Barton’s WallBuilders organization and Rick and David co-host the national daily radio program, WallBuilders Live!”
Green also runs a camp for kids called “Patriot Academy.” He bills it as “a six-day political training and leadership program where students age sixteen to twenty-five learn about America’s system of government from a Biblical worldview.”
Of course America’s government isn’t based on the Bible, but Green seems to think otherwise. During a 2013 talk at a church in Hawaii, Green claimed America was founded on “Christian principles.”
“We have to look right there in the Declaration of Independence for the birth certificate of America,” Green said. “When we talk about ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident,’ that means there’s a right and a wrong…. The idea that [the Founders] said there is a creator and that creator is the source of our freedom, that set up the philosophy for how our system works.”
Green’s view of the founding of the United States has absolutely no basis in reality. As we’ve said many times, the Founding Fathers intended the United States to have a secular government. After all, the Constitution makes no mention of Christianity, God or even Jesus. That’s important because the Constitution – not the Declaration – is the basis for U.S. law.
Individuals who have no understanding of the basis for America’s legal system clearly do not qualify to interpret the Constitution – as judges must do. Fortunately, Green is 0 for 2 in Texas judicial elections. Say goodnight, Rick.