Texas Gov. Abbott appoints state supreme court justice

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) appointed Evan Young to the Texas State Supreme court on Nov. 1, 2021. Young assumed office on Nov. 9. Young’s appointment fills the vacancy created by Eva Guzman, who resigned from the court in June 2021 to run for Texas attorney general. 

Under Texas law, the governor appoints a replacement to the Texas Supreme Court in the event of a midterm vacancy. The Texas State Senate must then confirm the nominee. Appointees serve until the next general election, in which they must participate in a partisan election to remain on the bench for the remainder of the unexpired term. 

Before his appointment to the Texas Supreme Court, Young worked as a clerk to Judge Harvie Wilkinson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Young received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and from Oxford University. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School.

In 2021, there have been 18 supreme court vacancies in 16 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. Seventeen of the vacancies have been caused by retirements, and one vacancy was caused by a justice’s death. To date, 14 of those vacancies have been filled.

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