Elections 2020Texas Supreme Court Justice Paul Green Will Retire, Abbott to Appoint Successor for Remainder of Term

Texas Supreme Court Justice Paul Green will retire two-thirds of the way through his third term on the state's highest court.
July 22, 2020
A 15-year member of Texas’ highest court, Justice Paul Green, announced he would retire from the Texas Supreme Court at the end of August.

Last re-elected in 2016, Green stated he wants to step away to enjoy retirement with his family.

He told the Texas Tribune, “I’m grateful to the people of Texas for electing me to the court three times, and it’s been a great honor and privilege to serve. It’s been a bittersweet kind of day.”

Green graduated from St. Mary’s Law School in 1977 and has served as the Texas State Bar Association president.

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht said of Green, “He has consistently provided steady, insightful and wise counsel to his colleagues and to the judiciary — and certainly to me in his role for the past seven years as senior justice. To say he will be missed is an understatement.”

The Texan Tumbler

His replacement will be appointed by Governor Abbott and since the retirement will begin after August 21, that appointee will have to run for re-election in two years at the end of this 6-year term.

Sec. 202.002 of the Texas Election Code reads, “If a vacancy occurs on or before the 74th day before the general election for state and county officers held in the next-to-last even-numbered year of a term of office, the remainder of the unexpired term shall be filled at the next general election for state and county officers, as provided by this chapter.”

Had he retired before August 21, the 74th day before Election Day, a special election would’ve been triggered for this November to fill the seat for the remainder of the term.

Texas Democrats called for Green to resign immediately so that a special election would be triggered, and called the decision a “cynical political move.”

Green, a San Antonio resident, will retire on August 31.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.