AUSTIN (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday named Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht as the new chief of the state's highest civil court.
Perry called Hecht a "man of the most upstanding character and integrity." The 64-year-old Hecht was first elected to the high court in 1988 and is the longest-serving justice on the nine-member panel, all of whom are Republicans.
Hecht replaces Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, who is stepping down in October. Jefferson was the court's first black justice.
The appointment comes as Hecht continues fighting a $29,000 state ethics fine from 2008. The Texas Ethics Commission had determined Hecht broke campaign finance laws stemming from his support of former U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.
Hecht becomes the 27th chief justice in the court's history.
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