Gov. Perry Appoints First Hispanic Female to Supreme Court of Texas

October 08, 2009

From the Governor’s Press Office

HOUSTON – Gov. Rick Perry today appointed appellate Justice Eva M. Guzman of Cypress as the first Hispanic female to serve on the Supreme Court of Texas for a term to expire at the next general election.

“Justice Guzman is known throughout legal circles as a strict constructionist with an unmatched work ethic, and has demonstrated a proven record of sound jurisprudence,” Gov. Perry said. “I am proud to appoint this principled, conservative judge as the first Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court of Texas.”

Guzman is an associate justice on the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, where she has ruled on thousands of civil and criminal appeals, and authored hundreds of published opinions. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center.

She has served in the Texas judiciary for more than a decade as the first Hispanic female appointed and then elected to the Harris County Family Court, and then as the first Hispanic female appointed and then elected to the 14th Court of Appeals.  Since her appointment to the 14th Court of Appeals, Guzman has issued more than 900 opinions.

“I am honored by this appointment and am grateful for the confidence Governor Perry has shown in me,” Guzman said. “It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of this region over the last decade, and I look forward to serving all Texas citizens as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court.”

Guzman was recently recognized by the Hispanic National Bar Association as Latina Judge of the Year and as 2009 Judge of the Year by the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas Foundation. She has also been named Appellate Judge of the Year by P.O.L.I.C.E. Inc. and the Houston Police Officers Union.

Guzman is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an appointed member of the Supreme Court of Texas Advisory Committee. She is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum Class XXII, and a fellow of the Texas and Houston Bar foundations. Guzman is also a board member of the South Texas College of Law Alumni Association, Greater Houston Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Texas Executive Women. 

Guzman received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and law degree from South Texas College of Law. She is married to Houston Police Sergeant Antonio Guzman, and they have one daughter, Melanie Alexis.

The governor also paid tribute to Justice Scott Brister, whom Guzman replaces, saying he leaves a strong legacy.