Judge, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
A 1988 graduate of Baylor University, Judge Elrod received her law degree from Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude. She began her professional career with a clerkship for federal district judge Sim Lake, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. After completing her clerkship, she became an associate at the national law firm Baker Botts. In 2002, Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Elrod as a judge on the 190th District Court in Harris County. In 2007, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a judge for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Houston.
Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
Justice Jefferson has three times made Texas judicial history. In 2001, Governor Rick Perry appointed him the first African American Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. 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. He was first appointed to the court in April 2001. His degrees are from the James Madison College at Michigan State University and the University of Texas School of Law.
Thomas R. Phillips
Former Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
Mr. Phillips received his BA degree from Baylor University, then completed his law training at Harvard Law School. After graduation, he clerked for Texas Supreme Court Justice Ruel C. Walker and practiced law in the trial department of the Houston office of Baker Botts. Beginning in 1981, he served as judge of the 280th District Court in Harris County. He was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 1988 and served as Chief Justice until 2004. He has returned to private practice in the Austin office of Baker Botts.
Contributing Editor, Newsweek, and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution
Mr. Taylor is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In addition to his work with Newsweek, he is a regular columnist for National Journal, where he specializes in constitutional law and the Supreme Court. He previously was a senior writer for American Lawyer Media and a reporter and Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times. He was an attorney at the D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering and earlier reported for the Baltimore Sun and Evening Sun.