Tom Phillips Receives Prestigious Justice Award

By Eckley, Timothy | Judicature, November/December 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Tom Phillips Receives Prestigious Justice Award


Eckley, Timothy, Judicature


Thomas R. Phillips, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, received the highest honor AJS bestows, the Justice Award. Phillips was recognized for a lifetime of dedication and devotion to the fair and impartial administration of justice in the United States. The ceremony was held in Houston, Texas, on November 15, 2007, with over 300 in attendance. Former U.S. secretary of State James A. Baker, III, delivered the keynote address.

AJS President John R. Tunheim praised Phillips for his "extraordinary contributions to the administration of justice in Texas and across the country" and noted that his outstanding leadership has "made our courts more effective, more accessible, and more independent." Seth S. Andersen, AJS Executive Vice President, remarked: "Chief Justice Phillips has been a leading advocate for the adoption of merit-based selection systems for judges in Texas and other states. His commitment to ensuring a fair and impartial judiciary enhances the quality of justice for all."

The Co-Chairs of the 2007 Justice Award were Harry M. Reasoner of Vinson & Elkins, LLP, and Joseph D. Jamail, Jr., of Jamail & Kolius. The late Honorable John L. Hill, Jr., past AJS Board Member and great friend to AJS, served as an original Co-Chair. As AJS President John R. Tunheim stated: "We pay tribute to John Hill, whose record of public service and commitment to improving the administration of justice in Texas and across the country was unparalleled." Judge Martha Hill Jamison will serve out her father's term as a member of the AJS Board of Directors.

In his address former U.S. secretary of State James Baker discussed the importance of the rule of law in an increasingly global community. Noting America's continuing role as the leading example for developing democracies to emulate, secretary Baker said "steadfast obedience to the rule of law is in our nation's best self interest." On Tom Phillips, he said:

I can think of no better example of the American legal system at work than the reforms enacted by the Texas Supreme Court under the guidance of Tom Phillips. It is solid evidence that our system can correct itself for the better. The story, of course, is legendary. Phillips, the youngest chief justice in the state's history, was appointed by Governor Bill Clements in 1987 at a time when the court's reputation was at its lowest. Many Texans believed what "60 Minutes" reporter Mike Wallace had told them-that "justice was for sale" in their state. With Phillips as chief justice, the Texas Supreme Court's commitment to the rule of law took center stage, and its legal opinions became respected across the nation for their scholarship and fairness.

Addressing the friends, family, colleagues, and distinguished guests gathered in his honor, Phillips commented on the seemingly increasing number and magnitude of concerted attacks on judges and the courts. "Because a judge's only appropriate constituency is the law, not a political party, a group of supporters, or even mobilized public opinion," Phillips said, "there will always be some tension between the courts and the popular branches of government.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Tom Phillips Receives Prestigious Justice Award
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?