Austin Attorney Keith Hampton is a candidate for the democratic nomination for Chief Justice of the Third Court of Appeals.

Hampton is a nationally recognized and highly decorated lawyer who has spent his entire career immersed in constitutional law.  Hampton also has a long history of fighting for and advocating for social justice. He has been an activist since he was a teenager appearing at the age of nineteen in August, 1980 at the national Democratic Party Convention.

In 1992, Hampton, as a young lawyer, wrote an amicus brief in support of an early effort to create the foundation for marriage equality, a victory stolen by the Texas Supreme Court, with current Senator John Cornyn, who sat on the Court at the time, casting the deciding vote.

Hampton also played an important part of the redistricting battles of the early and mid 2000’s, counseling the “Killer D’s” to stop Republican gerrymandering.  

Hampton even fought the good fight against Tom DeLay, filing an amicus brief on behalf of Texans for Public Justice to make DeLay accountable for his political schemes.  

Hampton’s long and distinguished legal career includes freeing multiple people from prison who were wrongfully imprisoned, including the highly publicized case of Fran and Dan Keller.

Hampton defeated the current GOP U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz in a death penalty appeal before the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5-4 decision.

Hampton has been awarded the Judge Black Award by the State Bar of Texas LGBT Section, and the David P. Atwood Award by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.  He has twice been named Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in 2008 and 2014. He has been named in Super Lawyers in Texas Monthly since 2003 and Best Lawyers in America since 2006. He is listed in the Registry of Preeminent Lawyers and has the highest ratings for ethics by his peers and judges.  Unlike any judge on the Court, he is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both criminal law and criminal appellate law.

He also clerked for Judge Sam Houston Clinton and is a graduate of the University of Texas, and St. Mary’s Law School.

Keith is married to Cynthia Hampton and has a daughter, Rebekah.


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