In response to the announcement, Texas Governor Rick Perry released this statement:
"Wallace Jefferson justly and faithfully guided our state's highest court during a decade of change and prosperity, and he will be remembered for his strong character and unwavering commitment to the rule of law. I was proud to appoint him as the court's first African-American justice and chief justice. He was and shall remain an inspiration to an entire generation of young men and women across our state. On behalf of all Texans, I thank him for his fine record of service, and wish him success and happiness in his future."
Upon hearing the news, Senator Ted Cruz also thanked the Chief Justice for his 12 years of service to the Texas Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Jefferson, of San Antonio, Texas, was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 2001. In 2004, he was appointed Chief Justice. He has stood election and re-election since those initial appointments, being confirmed by Texas voters. Justice Jefferson was the first black person to be appointed or elected as Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Justice Jefferson has helped streamline the legal process, making it more equitable. He helped reform policies regarding family court. He helped lessen incarceration sentences for lower, non-violent crimes in order to help combat prison overcrowding as well as undo burdens upon tax paying citizens.
Wallace Jefferson is a great man who has served honorably and with distinction. He is wished prosperity and fortune in his future endeavors.