I first met Mike Toth in December 2017 when I interviewed him as a candidate for Texas Third Court of Appeals. This high-profile court adjudicates civil and criminal appellate cases from lower courts in 24 Austin-area and Central Texas counties.
Mike showed exceptional knowledge of case law and appeared to have distinguished himself as a humble, disciplined thinker regarding the limited role of government, the foundations for our system of laws, and the basis for our governmental structure of separation of powers.
In addition to having a firm grasp of the western foundations of law, his judicial philosophy has been profoundly impacted by leaders such as Peter Robinson (speech writer for Ronald Reagan), Mitch Daniels (while serving in the White House Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush), Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, the Hoover Institute and the Federalist Society. His experience clerking for Justice Edith Jones, famed former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, further solidified his conservative judicial philosophy.
He honed his reasoning skills early on as an editor for the Stanford Review, and credits his training and service in the U.S. Marine Corps for the discipline he received for his professional formation: knowing how to get things done by converting philosophy and the abstract into tangible action.
Mike clearly articulated strategic thinking. Under the current administration, the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, will likely increasingly rely upon well-reasoned decisions from certain state courts as a basis for opinions. Texas Third Court of Appeals is one of those courts.
He impressed me as one humble enough to listen to counsel and carefully weigh arguments for logic, consistency and alignment with not only the intent of the Constitution, but the transcendent foundations upon which it was framed. These qualities are imperative in a jurist whose opinions may serve as far-reaching benchmarks for upholding justice and mercy.
Six months after the interview, I had the opportunity to witness Mike interact with his wife and children in their home. This provided additional visibility on his motivations, further solidifying my confidence in Mike’s commitment to, and love for, his family, our country, and our God.
I believe Mike has the energy and strategy to execute a winning campaign and will serve his fellow Texans for an extended period as an accomplished conservative jurist.
Copyright © 2018 Don Stroud