Perry Names New Supreme Court Chief Justice

AUSTIN, Texas (September 10, 2013)--Gov. Rick Perry Tuesday named Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, 64, to succeed the current chief justice, Wallace Jefferson, who is stepping down in October.

Jefferson was the court’s first black justice.

Perry called Hecht a "man of the most upstanding character and integrity."

Hecht was first elected to the high court in 1988 and is the longest-serving justice on the nine-member panel, all of whom are Republicans.

“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,” Perry said.

The appointment comes as Hecht continues to fight a $29,000 state ethics fine from 2008.

The Texas Ethics Commission determined that Hecht broke campaign finance laws stemming from his support of former U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

Hecht will be the 27th chief justice in the court's history.

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