Jose Hernandez flew on the space shuttle in 2009 and worked on the International Space Station, but he's been having a court battle over whether he can refer to himself as an "astronaut."
Hernandez, who stirred up some controversy with his immigration stances as an astronaut, retired in 2011 and is running for Congress in California, and that state allows candidates to self-identify themselves on ballots with their occupation. Hernandez chose "astronaut/scientist/engineer."
The GOP objected, saying he was no longer an astronaut, and filed suit.
"Allowing a candidate out of nowhere to use the profession of 'astronaut' when he hasn't served in that profession recently, is akin to allowing someone to use a title of 'sailor' when they no longer own or operate a ship," a spokeswoman said.
Hernandez's lawyers initially argued that once an astronaut, always an astronaut. But turns out they didn't need to.
A judge has just ruled that he can indeed list himself as an astronaut, because he ruled California law says ballot designations "can reflect a profession or vocation held during the previous calendar year, and Hernandez retired in January 2011.
Or maybe the judge was influenced by this video the Hernandez campaign put out:
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.