Seven applicants in the running for vacant Texas Supreme Court seat

Seven applicants are vying for an open seat on the Texas Supreme Court as of Aug. 18. The applicants are seeking to fill a vacancy on the court created when former Justice Eva Guzman stepped down on June 11 to run for Texas attorney general.

Under Texas law, in the event of a midterm vacancy, the governor appoints a replacement. The Texas state Senate must then confirm the nominee. Appointees serve until the next general election, in which he or she must participate in a partisan election to remain on the bench for the remainder of the unexpired term. Guzman’s replacement will be Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) fifth nominee to the nine-member supreme court.

The seven applicants are:

  • Judge Josh Burgess
  • Judge April Farris
  • Attorney Harston Dustin “Dusty” Fillmore III
  • Attorney and former Judge Ysmael D. Fonseca Jr.
  • Arbitrator and former Judge Michael Massengale
  • Judge Ken Wise
  • Attorney and former Judge Alicia Franklin York

As of this writing, Abbott had not released a timeline for filling the vacant seat.

In 2021, there have been 15 supreme court vacancies in 13 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. To date, 12 of those 15 vacancies have been filled.

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