Gov. Greg Abbott appoints former appeals court judge Jane Bland to Texas Supreme Court

Texas Tribune News

Justice Jane Bland.
Justice Jane Bland.
Image via The University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Jane Bland, a Republican appeals court judge in Houston who lost her seat in November amid a Democratic rout of urban-area appeals courts, has been appointed to the Texas Supreme Court, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday.

Bland will assume the seat of Justice Jeff Brown, a Republican who was confirmed late last month to the federal bench. Since the Legislature is not in session, she does not require confirmation by the Texas Senate, but will have to stand for reelection in 2020.

“Jane Bland is an experienced and proven legal expert whose respect for the Constitution is unmatched,” Abbott said. “As she assumes her new role on the Supreme Court, the people of Texas can rest assured that she will uphold the rule of law and be a good steward of the justice system. I am honored to appoint Jane to the highest court in Texas and am grateful for her service to our great state.”

Bland served as a judge for more than 20 years before joining Vinson & Elkins, one of the state’s top law firms and a major contributor to Texas Supreme Court justices’ campaigns.

She lost to Democrat Gordon Goodman in 2018 by less than one percentage point.

Bland is Abbott’s third appointee to the high court where he launched his own political career. His most recent appointee, Justice Brett Busby, had also recently come off an election loss in a Houston appeals court.

Disclosure: Vinson & Elkins has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.