Court History

Chief Justices 
Photo of James P. Alexander

James P. Alexander

September 21, 1945 to January 1, 1948

Alexander was elected as chief justice in November 1940, before the 1945 amendment, and re-elected in 1946. Died in office in January 1, 1948.

Photo of J. E. Hickman

J. E. Hickman

January 7, 1948 to January 3, 1961

Appointed in January 1948 by Governor Beauford H. Jester to fill Alexander's vacancy. Elected in November 1948 and re-elected in November 1954. Retired in January 1961.

Photo of Robert W. Calvert

Robert W. Calvert

January 3, 1961 to October 4, 1972

Elected in November 1960 and re-elected in November 1966. Retired in October 1972.

Photo of Joe R. Greenhill

Joe R. Greenhill

October 4, 1972 to October 25, 1982

Appointed in October 1972 by Governor Preston Smith to fill Calvert's vacancy. Elected in November 1972 and re-elected in November 1978. Retired in October 1982. Greenhill joined the Court after appointment in October 1957.

Photo of Jack Pope

Jack Pope

November 29, 1982 to January 4, 1985

Appointed in November 1982 by Governor William P. Clements to fill Greenhill's vacancy. Retired in January 1985. Pope served as a justice after election to the Court in November 1964.

Photo of John L. Hill

John L. Hill

January 5, 1985 to January 4, 1988

Elected in November 1984. Resigned in January 1988. 

Photo of Thomas R. Phillips

Thomas R. Phillips

January 4, 1988 to September 3, 2004

Appointed in November 1987 by Governor William P. Clements to fill Hill's vacancy. Elected in November 1988 to fill Hill's unexpired term and re-elected in November 1990, November 1996 and November 2002. Retired in September 2004.

Photo of Wallace B. Jefferson

Wallace B. Jefferson

September 20, 2004 to October 1, 2013

Appointed September 14, 2004, by Governor Rick Perry to fill Phillips' vacancy. Appointed to the Court in Place 4 in March 2001 by Perry to complete former Justice Al Gonzales' unexpired term. Chief Justice Jefferson was elected in 2006 to finish the remaining two years of Phillips' term, then re-elected in 2008 to a full term. He resigned October 1,... Read more

Photo of Nathan L. Hecht

Nathan L. Hecht

October 1, 2013 to Present

Justice Hecht, who held Place 6 on the Court since 1989, was appointed Chief Justice September 10, 2013, to replace Chief Justice Jefferson. He took the office October 1, 2013, and was re-elected in 2014. (Term ends in 2020).