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Perry fills Supreme Court vacancy


http://www.ap.org/

The Associated Press(11/10/ 2004)
By Pam Easton

HOUSTON — Gov. Rick Perry appointed his general counsel to the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday, making David Medina the second Hispanic among five appointments Perry has made to the state's highest civil court.

"I looked for a person who would further the court's philosophy of judicial restraint, a person of in-tegrity who would keep faith with the people of Texas and a person whose courtroom experience would add new talent and continued professionalism to the Supreme Court," Perry said in Houston, where Medina once served as a state district judge.

"I found all of those qualifications and more in Judge David Medina."

Medina, 46, fills the vacancy left by Perry's promotion of Wallace Jefferson of San Antonio to chief justice. Jefferson becomes the first black jurist to serve in that post.

"Two appointments in a lifetime is more than I ever dreamed of," said Medina, who first was named a judge in Harris County in 1996 by then-Gov. George W. Bush. "I look forward to this challenge."

Medina, who graduated from Southwest Texas State University and received his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston, was convicted in Harris County of reckless driving in September 2002, three months after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

At the time, a constable said he noticed Medina's black Mustang weaving across lanes in the early-morning hours. The constable stopped the car when the driver made an improper lane change and almost struck the deputy's vehicle, according to police reports.

After his appointment by Bush, Medina was elected to the bench in 1998, resigned in 2000 and later worked as associate general counsel for Houston-based Cooper Industries, a manufacturer of electrical products, tools and hardware. He became Perry's general counsel in January.