Jefferson has three times made Texas judicial history. In 2001, Governor Perry appointed him the first African American Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and then again in 2004 he was appointed the first African American Chief Justice. In November 2002, Jefferson also became, along with Justice Dale Wainwright, one of the first two African Americans elected to the Court.
Jefferson was first appointed to the court on April 18, 2001, to fill the vacancy left by Alberto R. Gonzales, who resigned to become White House Counsel to President George W. Bush. Jefferson was then elected to that seat in 2002 with 56 percent of the vote. Before Jefferson could complete his new term, however, he was again promoted by Perry. On September 20, 2004, Perry appointed Jefferson the successor to Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips, who had resigned from the Court a few weeks earlier after nearly seventeen years as chief justice. Jefferson was elected in November 2006 to serve out the remainder of Phillips's unexpired term as Chief Justice in November 2006.
Funding the Education of the Next Generation of African American Leaders in Dallas
Supporting Pro Bono Legal Service Organizations Working in Our Community
J. L. Turner Legal Association
F O U N D A T I O N