Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Resigns

The chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court is stepping down on Oct. 1.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson (File)

AUSTIN (September 3, 2013)--Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, the first black member of the court, announced Tuesday he plans to resign effective Oct. 1.

Jefferson, 50, said he doesn’t have another job lined up and said he remains open to work that's challenging and meaningful.

Jefferson said he plans to spend more time with his wife and three sons.

One attends Southern Methodist University, another is in high school and his third son is an eighth-grader.

After a dozen years on the state’s highest civil court, Jefferson, earns $170,000 annually including the latest raise approved by the Legislature.

Gov. Rick Perry, whom Jefferson informed of his plans, named Jefferson to the court in 2001 and appointed him chief justice in 2004.

Jefferson's current term runs through 2014.

“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,” Perry said in a statement Tuesday.

“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."

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