Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas
Partner, Baker Botts
Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy
Classroom & Courtroom, Room 127
Sheila & Walter Umphrey Law Center
1114 South University Parks Drive, Waco, TX 76706
No framers had stronger views about the design of a new American government than Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, and few if any who ultimately signed the new constitution sustained more defeats on key issues during the framing process than they did. Yet each put aside his individual doubts and disappointments to create, along with John Jay, a set of essays that constituted not merely the most persuasive brief for ratifying the new constitution but the most enduring justification for a federal system of republican government ever attempted. In declining to let the best be the enemy of the good, the authors of the Federalist Papers set a standard to which today’s leaders would be most wise to emulate.
Thomas R. Phillips, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, joined the Austin office of Baker Botts in September 2005, after nearly a quarter-century of judicial service.
After graduating from law school, Mr. Phillips clerked for Justice Ruel C. Walker of the Supreme Court of Texas and practiced law in the trial department of the Houston office of Baker Botts. From 1981 to 1988, he served as judge of the 280th District Court in Harris County, Texas, and from 1988 to 2004, he was chief justice. Initially appointed to both judicial offices by Governor William P. Clements, he was elected without opposition to the district bench in 1982 and 1986 and elected in contested races to the Supreme Court in 1988, 1990, 1996 and 2002.