Bill Meier

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William Carl "Bill" Meier

Texas State Senator for District 10 (Tarrant County)
In office
January 1973 – January 1983
Preceded by Don Kennard
Succeeded by Bob McFarland

Judge of the Texas
Second Court of Appeals (Place 2)
In office
January 2009 – January 2019
Preceded by Paul Womack
Succeeded by Interim

Brian Walker (elected 2020)


Born August 1, 1940
Place of birth missing

Reared in Waco, Texas

Spouse(s) Unknown
Children Drew, Roger, and Anthony Loren Meier
Residence Bedford, Tarrant County
Alma mater University High School (Waco)

Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas)
University of Texas at Austin
UT Law School

Occupation Attorney

William Carl Meier, known as Bill Meier (born August 1, 1940), is an attorney and a former Texas state senator for District 10 and a former justice of the Second Court of Appeals.[1] He represented a portion of Tarrant County in the state Senate, where in 1977 he delivered the longest filibuster in world history, forty-three hours.[2]

Biography

Background

Bill Meier was reared in Waco, Texas, where he graduated in 1958 from University High School. Afterwards, he attended Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, on a basketball scholarship where he received a two-year associate's degree in science. Meier then moved to Austin in 1961 to attend the University of Texas, at which he received his Bachelor of Science degree. In 1966, he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the UT Law School.[3] Meier started practicing law in Dallas and then moved to Tarrant County in 1969, living in Euless, Hurst, and then Bedford. He is father of three sons, Drew, Roger and Loren.

Political life

Meier was first elected to the state Senate in 1972 as a Democrat[4] In the 1974 Texas constitutional convention, which failed to produce a new governing document, Meier was chairman of the committee which formulated the duties and powers of the executive branch.[5]

In 1979, Meier was voted among the "Ten Worst Legislators" of that year's session by Texas Monthly magazine.[6] a designation that does not always embarrass the selected member. In that same session, Meier was the president pro tempore of the Texas Senate.[7]

A former Democrat, Meier was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for Texas attorney general in the 1982 general election. Mark White vacated the position to become the Democratic nominee for governor and unseated William P. Clements, Jr., of Dallas, the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. Clements and the entire Republican slate were soundly defeated. Meier lost the race to the Democratic U.S. Representative James Albon Mattox (1943-2008), who vacated a Dallas-area U.S. House seat to become attorney general. Mattox won the Democratic nomination over former state Senator Max Ray Sherman (born 1935) of Amarillo.[8] In the general election, Mattox utilized campaign rhetoric positioning himself as "the people's lawyer," and suggested that Meier was too closely aligned with the interests of business. Meier forfeited his state senate seat when he ran for attorney general. On April 28, 2005, Meier was among several dozen living former Texas senators honored by the legislature.

In March 2008, Meier won a three-candidate Republican primary for the Texas Second Court of Appeals, and he was unopposed in the ensuing general election. He was reelected without opposition in 2014 and retired in January 2019, with two years left in his second term. A provision of the Texas code forbids a judge from seeking reelection once he turns seventy-five.[3][9]

Filibuster

In May 1977, near the close of the regular legislative session, Meier spoke for forty-three hours against a worker's compensation bill that he considered "anti-business." His activity blocked the bill from being considered in the waning hours of the session.[2]

The previous filibuster record, for twenty-four hours, had been held by then U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who spoke against adoption of what became the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

References

  1. William Meier (Texas). Mylife.com. Retrieved on August 21, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Justin Dehn, Aman Batheja, and Alana Rocha (March 14, 2013). At 43 Hours, Texas Senator Set Filibuster Record in '77. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on August 21, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bill Meier. Ballotpedia. Retrieved on August 21, 2020.
  4. Bill Meier. Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on August 21, 2020.
  5. Constitutional Convention of 1974. The Handbook of Texas on-line. Retrieved on August 21, 2020.
  6. Best and Worst Legislators. Texas Monthly (1979).
  7. Senate Presidents Pro Tempore. Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on August 21, 2020.
  8. Around the Nation: Apathy of Voters Marks Runoff Election in Texas. The New York Times (June 7, 1982). Retrieved on August 21, 2020.
  9. Max B. Baker (September 17, 1977). Chief justice steps down as turnover strains busy Fort Worth appeals court. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved on August 21, 2020.