Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Phil Johnson Supreme Court Appointment - Amarillo

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005  •  Speech

Good morning and thank you for joining us.  I am honored to be here today with Senator Kel Seliger (and state representatives, if any).

A governor is charged with a great many tasks...
...few of which are as important as the appointment of judges that uphold our system of law and order.

Our judges bear a tremendous responsibility:...
...administering justice that is blind and fair...
...and interpreting the law rather than making it.

Since 2001, I have had the distinct honor of appointing three current members of the Texas Supreme Court.

These individuals have joined an outstanding group of jurists who have helped transform the court’s philosophy from activism to restraint...
...and collectively they have brought a new era of respect to our state’s highest court.

In fact, President Bush recently recognized the outstanding work of another one of the members of the Supreme Court I appointed...
...Justice Mike Schneider...
...by nominating him to the federal bench.
In filling that vacancy, I looked for an individual who could add to the court’s depth of experience...
...who was committed to interpreting the law in accordance with the will of the legislature and our founding fathers...
...and who had demonstrated the high level of integrity demanded by the people of Texas.

One such extraordinary West Texan fit the bill...
...and that is the Chief Justice of the 7th District Court of Appeals...
...Phil Johnson.

Today I am proud to announce that I am appointing Phil Johnson to the Texas Supreme Court because he has all of the qualities needed to do a splendid job on our state’s highest civil court.

As a member of the 7th District Court of Appeals since 1999...
...and as a chief justice of that court for the past two years...
...Phil Johnson participated in disposing of more than 2,300 appeals...
...including authoring over 800 opinions.

He has more than two decades of experience in private practice...
...he is admitted to argue before the United States Supreme Court...
...and his counsel has been sought by members of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Bar Association and numerous legal panels.
And he has answered the call of public service not only as an appellate court judge...
...but for seven years as a decorated Air Force combat pilot who earned the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster.

The people of West Texas know him as a fair and thoughtful judge who bases his opinion on the law and constitution...
...and soon all the people of Texas will come to know and respect him in the same way.

Today I am appointing Phil Johnson to the Texas Supreme Court because he has the experience needed to be an effective justice for the people of this state and he adheres to the philosophy that judges should interpret law and not make it from the bench.

I want to congratulate Justice Johnson... his wife Carla... their five children and their entire family on this historic day.

And now please welcome the newest nominee for the Texas Supreme Court... Phil Johnson.

(After Johnson speaks...)

At this time we would be happy to answer your questions...

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