all litigants Are people
Family law litigants come from all walks of life and a wide variety of issues bring them into the courtroom. What they all have in common is a shared humanity that the court should recognize.
Judge Longino is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (<1% of licensed attorneys in Texas hold this specialization) and works hard to quickly move cases through the system so they can exit a financially and emotionally draining process.
LGBTQ families are no different than heterosexual families; they value and deserve equal and compassionate treatment under the law by our courts.
Many are unaware that Texas still defines homosexual conduct “deviate” punishable as a Class C misdemeanor (Tex. Pen. Code § 21.06) despite the law being held an unconstitutional violation of privacy and liberty interests protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in the landmark ruling Lawrence v. Tex., 539 U.S. 558, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508 (2003).
Many are also unaware that Texas still views “a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union” as “contrary to the public policy of this state” that “is void.” Tex. Fam. Code § 6.204. This law remains in the Texas Family Code despite that very type of law being held an unconstitutional violation of the fundamental rights and liberties protected by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment in the landmark ruling Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644, 135 S. Ct. 2584, 192 L. Ed. 2d 609 (2015).
When Judge Longino first ran for the bench four years ago, there was a trend of state legislative bodies towards implementing laws that allowed for discrimination against LGBTQ families. Now, there is a movement by many legislatures toward criminalizing physicians in the treatment of, and parents for their support of, transgender children.
In 1976, the Supreme Court of Texas in Holley v. Adams provided a nonexhaustive list of factors for ascertaining the best interest of a child. The first of those factors stated is “the desires of the child”. Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367, 371–72 (Tex. 1976). The second of those factors is “the emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future.” This would explain why Doctors for Change, an organization comprised of over 1,000 healthcare provider members, along with the Texas Pediatric Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Pediatric Endocrine Society have come out against laws seeking to criminalize medical care to these children that is “extremely beneficial to the child’s health outcomes and happiness.”
The judiciary has long stood as a bulwark against the tradition of paleoconservative governments involving themselves in the private decisions of what its citizens do with their genitals. Electing openminded judges is important to ensure religious beliefs and personal dogma does not allow the erosion of personal liberties, good medicine, and good parenting, by the state.
Mental health issues pervade family law cases in numerous ways. Some of the most common examples seen are in considerations about whether a parent is unfit to care for their children due to a psychiatric disorder, or whether a spouse is disabled and should receive spousal maintenance due to mental illness. Even in cases in which these issues are not a factor, it is common (and understandable) for people to struggle with the emotions stirred up by the dissolution of a relationship.
It is important to have a basic understanding of mental health, the distinctions between various mental health providers, and the evidence supporting various recommendations. Unnecessarily punishing seeking mental healthcare could discourage litigants from seeking the very care needed to make them a stable parent/partner.
Family law, as a profession, can be better educated about these topics. If re-elected, Judge Longino would work to try and increase training to the judiciary and local bar on these issues so we can all better serve the people of Harris county.
Appointment of a primary parent with the exclusive right to designate the residence of a child, and the award of a Standard Possession Order to the non-custodial parent, is presumed to be in the best interest of the child under the Texas Family Code. However, a presumption can be overcome if the evidence shows the requested deviation is in the child's best interest.
Each case should be analyzed on its own facts to determine if the presumption of a Standard Possession Order is best for that family.
Judge Longino took the position when running in 2018 that additional limits on fundraising from attorneys practicing in the court were needed to preserve the appearance of propriety and impartiality of the judiciary. He pledged to not accept more than $500, or 1/10th the contribution limit, from any attorney who practices before the court.
Judge Longino is reaffirming that pledge. If you wish to donate more than $500 but are an attorney practicing in the 245th, you are encouraged to donate the difference to Harris County Democratic Party.