Nathan L. Hecht is the 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. He has been elected to the Court seven times, first in 1988 as a Justice, and in 2014 and 2020 as Chief Justice. He is the longest-serving Member of the Court in Texas history and the longest-tenured Texas judge in active service.
Throughout his service on the Court, he has overseen revisions to the rules of administration, practice, and procedure in Texas courts, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. He is also active in the Court’s efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level, as well as others with limited means, have access to basic civil legal services.
Chief Justice Hecht was appointed to the district court in 1981 and was elected to the court of appeals in 1986. Before taking the bench, he was a partner in the Locke firm in Dallas. He holds a B.A. degree with honors in philosophy from Yale University, and a J.D. degree cum laude from the SMU School of Law, where he was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. He clerked for Judge Roger Robb on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps. He is a Past President of the national Conference of Chief Justices, a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Life Member of the American Law Institute and a member of Council, and a member of the Texas Philosophical Society. He won re-election in November 2020 to a term that ends December 31, 2026.