Rick Perry (R)
AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline)-The newest member of the Texas Supreme Court will provide a reliably conservative voice on the state high court, a legal observer said.
Justice Eva Guzman of Cypress was tapped by Gov. Rick Perry to fill the vacancy left by Scott Brister, who left the bench to join the law firm of Andrews Kurth LLP.
In an interview with Legal Newsline, the president of the Texas Civil Justice League, George Christian, hailed Guzman as a strict constructionist, known for her "extremely high standards for integrity."
Perry, a Republican, made a "good choice" in picking Guzman for the state Supreme Court, he said.
"Our members see her as a conservative in terms of her judicial philosophy," Christian said. "She seems to get very high marks all around."
Guzman, 48, this month became the first Latina to serve on the state's highest court. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Houston Law Center.
"I am proud to appoint this principled, conservative judge as the first Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court of Texas," Perry said in a statement.
She was previously on the Texas 14th Court of Appeals in Houston. Perry appointed Guzman to the post in 2001. She won election in 2002 and 2004.
Since her appointment to appeals court, Guzman has issued more than 900 opinions.
Christian, an attorney, said the governor has a record of making "very strong" judicial appointments.
"He has appointed very good trial judges and court of appeals judges and has created extremely strong base to ultimately fill Supreme Court vacancies," he said. "We feel like his appointments across the board have been very strong - from the bottom up."
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.