Marilyn Tennissen Sep. 24, 2013, 11:48am

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Justice Nathan L. Hecht of Austin as 27th chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, effective Oct. 1.

"I am proud to appoint Justice Hecht as chief justice of the highest court in the state," Gov. Perry said in a Sept. 10 statement. "I know Justice Hecht to be a man of the most upstanding character and integrity, with an uncompromising commitment to protecting the interests of the citizens of Texas. 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."

Hecht was first elected to the Supreme Court of Texas in 1988 and has won reelection four times. Now the court's longest serving justice, Hecht has authored more than 350 opinions.

Prior to his service on the Supreme Court of Texas, Hecht served as a justice of the Texas 5th Court of Appeals and as judge of the 95th Judicial District Court in Dallas County.

He is also a former associate attorney and shareholder of Locke, Purnell, Boren, Laney and Neely PC, now known as Locke, Lord, Bissell and Liddell LLP, and is a former law clerk to Judge Roger Robb of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Justice Hecht is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the District of Columbia Bar and the American, Dallas, and Austin Bar associations. He is a commissioner of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, a life fellow of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American, Texas, and Dallas Bar foundations and a past member of the US Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure.

He also served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAGC).

Hecht received a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Gov. Perry appointed Hecht as chief justice on Sept. 10 after the announcement by current chief justice Wallace Justice that he was stepping down at the end of September.

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