Judge Juan Magallanes of the 357th District Court in Cameron County was recently disciplined by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for his endorsement of Democratic Congressional Candidate Dan Sanchez in the special election for Congressional District 34 that occurred on June 14, 2022.
In addition to receiving a private admonition, Magallanes was also ordered to undergo additional education. Although Magallanes is not named on the State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s website, The Texas Voice has confirmed that Magallanes is the judge referenced in the disciplinary action handed down by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct on January 3, 2023.
Subscribe to The Texas Voice
Have every new edition of The Texas Voice sent direct to your inbox
The entry for the disciplinary action involving Magallanes states, “The judge lent the prestige of judicial office to advance the interest of and authorizing the public use of the judge’s name and judicial title to endorse a candidate in a special election by hosting a political event and making introductory remarks that a reasonable person, either in attendance at the event or watching a video of the judge’s remarks on social media, would believe was the judge’s public endorsement of the candidate. [Violation of Canons 2B and 5(2) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.] Private Admonition and Order of Additional Education of a District Court Judge.”
Canon 2B of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others. Further, Canon 5(2) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a judge shall not authorize the public use of his or her name endorsing another candidate for public office.
Before his election to the bench, Magallanes owned and operated a law firm in Cameron County with Gilberto Hinojosa, who has served as Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party since 2012.
On June 2, 2022, Magallanes personally hosted a public campaign event for Democratic Congressional Candidate Dan Sanchez at his ranch. This event was promoted by Sanchez on his campaign Facebook page, stating, “Join us tonight at Juan A. Magallanes State District Judge of the 357th Court ranch in Los Fresnos for a GOTV rally!”
At the event, Magallanes gave a speech endorsing Sanchez in the special election to fill the vacancy in the 34th Congressional District, stating, “It’s very important for this area that we get the right person to represent this area. He knows this area. He’s from this area. So, and definitely not a Republican” as he stood alongside Sanchez.
Republican Mayra Flores defeated Sanchez in the Congressional District 34 special election that occurred on June 14, 2022. Flores was later defeated by Democratic Congressman Vicente Gonzalez in the November general election and now works as a conservative commentator and as the Juan Seguin Society Chair at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.