Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Perry Appoints Chief Justice Hecht

Governor Rick Perry of Texas appointed Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht to replace Chief Justice Jefferson. Jefferson announced his resignation, effective Oct. 1, after years of faithful service to the state's high court. Governor Perry's announcement came with this to say about Justice Hecht:

"I am proud to appoint Justice Hecht as chief justice of the highest court in the state. I know Justice Hecht to be a man of the most upstanding character and integrity, with an uncompromising commitment to protecting the interests of the citizens of Texas. As the most senior justice on the Court, his dedication to the rule of law and wealth of knowledge and judicial experience will be invaluable as he serves in this new role."

Texas Supreme Court Justices are not appointed "for life" like the US Supreme Court Justices. Their appointments by the governor are simply to fill a current term until the next election cycle. Chief Justice Jefferson was appointed to the court then later to the Chief Justice position, initially. But his character and record led to his re-elections.

Chief Justice Hecht hopes to follow the trend. Most appointees go on to win their elections and retain their positions.

Hecht was first appointed to the Supreme bench in 1988 after being elected to the appellate court in 1986. Since, he has been re-elected to the Texas Supreme Court numerous times. He worked with Chief Justice Jefferson to insure lower-income-level citizens receive adequate or better legal counsel and services in the state. 

Hecht's work in law and the courts is extensive, including having served as a Judge Advocate in the US Naval Reserve.