The Real Deal
Opponent: Failed the Criminal Law Certification Exam -- How Many Times?
He refuses to answer this question and will not release records that would answer the question.
In applications for appointment to various judicial offices, he admitted to the Governor's Office that he failed the exam in 2007, and he claimed that he would re-take it in 2009, 2014 and 2015. See record excerpts below.
Since he will not release the records or answer the question, it is reasonable to infer that he failed the test more than once.
Opponent: Former Plaintiff's Personal Injury Lawyer
Keel's opponent enjoyed a career as a plaintiff's personal injury trial lawyer. He was a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers' Association and the American Trial Lawyers' Association.
He dabbled in criminal law because "you could settle a lot of PI cases back then and never go to court."
1997 application for appointment to the district court bench:
Opponent: Liberal on Bush v. Gore
In the 2000 presidential election, the Democrats in Florida tried to steal the election for Al Gore. The US Supreme Court put the kibosh on their unconstitutional shenanigans in Bush v. Gore.
Keel's opponent echoes MSNBC liberal Chris Mathews in criticizing that decision and opposes Senator Ted Cruz's and Judge Keel's position.
Compare and contrast:
Opponent: What Rule of Law?
Keel's opponent has a habit of wrongly suppressing physical evidence and confessions and wrongly throwing out cases as serious as child molestation and online solicitation of a minor.
He claims that those erroneous rulings are the result of his refusal to follow the law and brags about being a "different kind of judge."
He advocates for suspending the rules of evidence for the defense in the trial of death penalty cases. If he had his way, a trial court judge would have no discretion to exclude evidence offered by the defense even if it was irrelevant, unreliable, hearsay, or junk science.
His record and rhetoric prove him unsuitable for a seat on our highest criminal court.
Brother Thornton Keel with wife Donna and Governor George W. Bush
Judge Keel's parents Patty and Tom Keel, trailblazing conservatives of Travis County
Family and Politics
Judge Keel's parents, Patty and Tom Keel, are active Republicans and generous supporters of many conservative causes.
Patty Keel served briefly in the House of Representatives as a Republican after winning a special election in 1996.
Judge Keel's brother, Terry Keel, is the only Republican to have been elected Sheriff of Travis County. He was also elected to the House of Representatives five times, and for a while he was the only Republican in the Travis County delegation. Later he served as House Parliamentarian under Speaker Tom Craddick.
Brother Thornton Keel is a political consultant who has provided services to over 40 Republican campaigns, including Governor Greg Abbott's, Speaker Tom Craddick's, and Judge Keel's.
Brothers Thornton and Patrick Keel both went to Florida in 2000 to fight on behalf of Governor George W. Bush's campaign in the presidential election recount, a battle that the runoff opponent would have conceded to the Democrats.
Judge Keel has been elected as a Republican six times in the State's most populous county, beating a Democrat in four contested elections and winning two contested primaries.
She belongs to the National Rifle Association, Texas State Rifle Association, the Federalist Society, and Village Republican Women.
She has donated to Red State Women, the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, and other Republican campaigns and causes.
Judge Keel's Judicial Record
In 21 years on the felony trial court bench, Judge Keel has presided over hundreds of jury trials. Her reversal rate is less than 2%.
She bested each of her runoff opponent in the 2016 State Bar of Texas judicial poll by a margin of more than two to one.
She was top-rated among her peers in the 2015 Houston Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Poll for following the law, being impartial, working hard and ruling decisively.
The Houston Chronicle in 2006 recognized her as "one of Houston's fairest judges."
More commentary can be found here.
Terry Keel, the only Republican Sheriff of Travis County