46.6 F
Fort Worth
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Government Hecht chosen as new chief of Texas Supreme Court

Hecht chosen as new chief of Texas Supreme Court

Other News

Tarrant County DA’s office changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuna cases

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Tarrant County  Criminal District Attorney’s Office on Monday, Nov....

Arlington selects new police chief from Baltimore department

Col. Al Jones, a 25-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department, has been appointed the new police chief of the the City of...

Family of Black woman shot through window sues Texas officer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Family members of a Black woman who was killed when a white police officer fired through a window of...

Law firm offers free estate plans for health care workers during pandemic

Fort Worth attorney Erik Martin says he felt compelled to find a way for his law firm to join the effort to support frontline...
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

 

PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht was named new chief of the state’s highest civil court Tuesday, pleasing conservative leaders but troubling a watchdog group that has criticized the Republican over his record and alleged ethics violations.

Hecht, 64, is the longest-serving justice on the nine-member panel. He was first elected in 1988, a longevity that has carried Hecht through the court shifting with the Texas political landscape and becoming entirely stocked by Republicans.

Hecht replaces Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, the state’s first black justice, who announced this month he would step down in October.

The appointment was made by Gov. Rick Perry, who did not immediately name a replacement for Hecht’s seat.

“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,” Perry said.

Hecht becomes the court’s 27th chief justice while continuing to fight a $29,000 state ethics fine from 2008, stemming stems from his public support of former U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

Texas Watch, an Austin-based advocacy group that monitors the Texas Supreme Court and civil justice issues, met the selection of Hecht with disapproval. The group has filed ethics complaints against Hecht that have been dismissed and is critical of a judicial record that it claims favors insurance companies and corporate defendants.

Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, said Hecht lacks the reputation of having an independent streak like his predecessor Jefferson.

“Nathan Hecht has never shown a desire to be a moderating voice in any way,” Winslow said. “This is a hard turn for the court.”

Hecht was fined after the ethics commission determined campaign finance laws were broken. Hecht racked up a large legal bill fighting allegations that he abused his position in 2005 by openly supporting Miers, a longtime friend, and was given an estimated $168,000 discount on legal fees by a major law firm.

The ethics commission determined the discount amounted to a campaign contribution. Hecht has argued the discount was legal and proper, and a trial date over his appeal has not been set.

The ethics commission is represented by the office of Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who formerly served with Hecht on the court and is now running for governor. Abbott on Tuesday tweeted that Hecht was a “solid conservative pick.”

___


close






Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Swafford dies from COVID

City of Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Jim Swafford died from COVID-19 Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, while hospitalized at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. He...

Gov. Greg Abbott endorses Drew Springer over Shelley Luther in Texas Senate special election runoff

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday endorsed state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, in his bid to join the Texas Senate, charging into a heated intraparty...

Texas must boost coronavirus control efforts amid “full resurgence” of infections, White House report says

Texas must ramp up efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the state experiences a “full resurgence” of COVID-19 infections, according to...

A&M System Regents OK Tarleton Analytical Policing Institute

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has approved creation of Tarleton State University’s Institute for Predictive and Analytical Policing Sciences, a part...

U.S. Supreme Court leery of Trump’s bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from congressional reapportionment

Some Supreme Court justices on Monday seemed skeptical of President Trump’s claim he has the authority to exclude undocumented immigrants from population totals when...