Texas Supreme Court

State of Texas

Gov. Rick Perry has announced a successor to lead the Texas Supreme Court following the resignation of Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson.

Perry has appointed Justice Nathan Hecht to replace Jefferson, who announced his departure starting Oct. 1. Hecht has become known as a champion of indigent defense ensuring that everyone has access to legal aid.

State of Texas

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court has asked that the Texas Supreme Court make a ruling on whether oil giant BP had adequate insurance coverage prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Osler McCarthy, a staff attorney for public information at the Texas Supreme Court, said that when BP asked its  insurance company, to pay up, its insurer told them they weren't covered.

McCarthy said the court will be examining if the primary coverage was enough for BP to be covered for the pollution damage to the Texas Coast or if the company should have purchased additional umbrella policies.

State of Texas

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, who lives in San Antonio, plans to step down from his position this Fall. Jefferson is the first African-American to serve as the State of Texas’ top judge. 

Jefferson has held the spot for the last 12 years and said he is leaving his post Oct. 1. He said his decision centered on family and finances:

State of Texas

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court encouraging them to limit landowner liability regarding accidents that involve undocumented migrants.

Staples writes in his brief that the State of Texas must protect policies that enable landowners to secure their land from trespassers and illegal activity without fear of legal retribution.

State of Texas

The Texas Supreme Court has decided it will take a look at two separate divorce cases from 2010 that involve same-sex couples who were legally married in another state.

One of the cases, which took place in Travis County, ended with a judge agreeing to settle the couple’s divorce, but a different judge refused to hear the another case involving a couple living in Dallas.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott intervened in both the cases, arguing to the court that Texas law forbids any action that recognizes same sex marriage, including divorce.