About Justin Nelson
“If you’re ready for an attorney general who fights for all Texans, and will fight against corruption, get involved with our campaign…. Texans are ready for an end to corruption, an end to gerrymandering, and an end to government for special interests.”
Justin Nelson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, is running for attorney general. He lives in Austin with his wife and three children. Nelson grew up in Houston and is a product of the Houston Public Schools. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale and attended the Columbia School of Law, where he was the valedictorian of his class. Nelson clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the United States Supreme Court before becoming a partner in a Houston-based law firm where he specialized in high-stakes civil litigation. While working there, he received numerous honors for his work. Nelson is a Fellow of the American Bar Association, and he has served as Chair of the Economics of the Profession Committee in the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Division. During his college years, Nelson led education and public health projects in South America as a volunteer. He is the founder and former president of One Nation One Vote, a non-profit dedicated to fighting gerrymandering and to changing the Electoral College to a national popular vote.
Nelson believes in protecting voter rights and putting an end to gerrymandering, and he is a strong supporter of public education. He believes the attorney general of Texas should check power, fight corruption, and enforce consumer protections. He believes that all Texans should have access to affordable healthcare, that insurance companies should not have the right to reject people with pre-existing conditions, and that women should have access to the healthcare appropriate for their needs. According to Nelson, Texas is last in terms of the quality of its nursing homes. He pledges to promote nursing home quality and to prosecute healthcare fraud if elected. Nelson aspires to reform child support laws, and he has a comprehensive plan to address the opioid epidemic. He is a champion of criminal justice reform. Nelson believes the attorney general should enforce law and order at the border while at the same time respecting human rights.
The Attorney General is (AG) charged by the Texas state constitution to represent the state in civil litigation and to approve public bond issues. The Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the governor, heads of state agencies and other officials and commissions, and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the state.
Instead of granting general law enforcement power to the Attorney General, the Texas constitution grants specific authority in: Criminal Prosecutions and Criminal Appeals, together with Crime Victim Services. The AG's office also enforces the collection of child support payments.
Justin Nelson’s opponent is Republican incumbent Ken Paxton. Paxton has a history of corruption and of championing corporate and ultra-conservative interests. He has admitted to violating a state securities law that he had previously supported in the Texas Legislature, an admission that triggered a Texas Ranger investigation. In July 2015, a state grand jury indicted Attorney General Paxton on three criminal charges, two counts of securities fraud (a first-degree felony) and one count of failing to register with state securities regulators (a third-degree felony). Paxton has refused to defend the Texas Ethics Commission as one of his donors, Empower Texas, seeks to take away the commission’s power to enforce state laws requiring transparency in politicians’ financing sources. Paxton is the leader of a coalition of states challenging DACA in court. He supports using eminent domain to acquire land for the border wall, opposes Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and sued the city of Austin to allow gun license holders to openly carry handguns in city hall.