For more than a decade, Texans of all political stripes have rooted for Karen Gren Scholer to become a federal judge, even as the job repeatedly slipped through her hands.

The former Dallas state district judge was first elected to the bench as a Republican in 2000, where Scholer quickly won respect from Dallas Bar Association members with her fair rulings and judicial temperament. By 2007, she caught the attention of Republican Sen. John Cornyn and former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who interviewed her for a spot on the federal bench in Dallas during George W. Bush’s presidency.

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