Court History

Chief Justices 
Photo of James P. Alexander

James P. Alexander

September 21, 1945, to January 1, 1948

James P. Alexander was born in Moody, McLennan County, Texas, on April 21, 1883. He attended Baylor University in 1901 and received a law degree from the University of Texas in 1908. After a summer of postgraduate work at the University of Chicago in 1908, he began a law practice in McGregor. He moved his practice to Waco in 1911 and... Read more

Photo of J. E. Hickman

J. E. Hickman

January 7, 1948, to January 3, 1961

John E. Hickman was born at Liberty Hill, Williamson County, Texas, on March 28, 1883. By 1902 he had graduated from Liberty Hill Normal and Business College and taught briefly at a rural school at Hog Mountain in Bell County. Following summer study at Southwestern University, he attended the University of Texas from 1904 to 1906. After serving as principal and... Read more

Photo of Robert W. Calvert

Robert W. Calvert

January 3, 1961, to October 4, 1972

Robert W. Calvert was born February 22, 1905, in Lawrence County, Tennessee to Porter Calvert and Maud Richardson. Porter Calvert passed away in 1912, leaving his family destitute. Mrs. Calvert brought her family to Texas in 1913, and placed her children in the State Home in Corsicana. Later Justice Calvert would credit his experience in the State Home as the... Read more

Photo of Joe R. Greenhill

Joe R. Greenhill

October 4, 1972, to October 25, 1982

Joe Greenhill was born in Houston on July 14, 1914. He graduated from San Jacinto High School in Houston and afterward received B.A., and B.B.A. degrees from the University of Texas, and an L.L.B Degree from the University of Texas Law School, where he graduated at the top of his class. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the editor... Read more

Photo of Jack Pope

Jack Pope

November 29, 1982, to January 4, 1985

 Andrew Jackson "Jack" Pope was born in Abilene, Texas on April 18, 1913. He graduated from public schools in Abilene, earned a BA degree from Abilene Christian College in 1934, and a law degree from the University of Texas in 1937 after having been the editor of the Texas Law Review.  Pope moved to Corpus Christi where he started practicing law... Read more

Photo of John L. Hill

John L. Hill

January 5, 1985, to January 4, 1988

John L. Hill, Jr. was born in 1923 in Breckenridge, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1947, was admitted to the Texas Bar, and began practice as a trial lawyer in Houston. He served as Secretary of State and then Attorney General of Texas, and during his later tenure, he argued before the Supreme... Read more

Photo of Thomas R. Phillips

Thomas R. Phillips

January 4, 1988, to September 3, 2004

Thomas "Tom" R. Phillips was born in Dallas on October 23, 1949. He attended Baylor University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts, and Harvard University, where he received a Juris Doctorate. Following his graduation from law school, Phillips served as a briefing attorney to Supreme Court Justice Ruel C. Walker and later worked as a trial attorney with... Read more

Photo of Wallace B. Jefferson

Wallace B. Jefferson

September 2004 to October 2013

Wallace B. Jefferson was appointed to the Supreme Court on September 14, 2004, by Governor Rick Perry, and named Chief Justice in 2004. Jefferson made Texas history as the Court’s first African-American Justice and Chief Justice. Chief Justice Jefferson was elected in 2006 to finish the remaining two years of Chief Justice Phillips' unexpired term, then re-elected in 2008 to... Read more

Photo of Nathan L. Hecht

Nathan L. Hecht

October 1, 2013, to Present

Nathan L. Hecht is the 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. He has been elected to the Court seven times, first in 1988 as a Justice. He was appointed Chief Justice on September 10, 2013, to replace Chief Justice Jefferson. He took office on October 1, 2013, and was re-elected in 2014 and 2020. Chief Justice Hecht's... Read more