Chief Justice Thomas Phillips
Retired Texas Chief Justice Thomas Phillips received NCSC's Harry L. Carrico Award for Judicial Innovation for his tireless work in promoting innovations in Texas's judicial selection system, which left an imprint nationally. To combat the perception, Phillips championed restrictions on judicial campaign fund raising during his first statewide race for chief justice. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez presented the award to Phillips, his former colleague on the Texas Supreme Court.
In 2000, Phillips played a leadership role in the first-ever National Summit on Improving Judicial Selection sponsored by NCSC, which brought together state legislators and judicial leaders of the 17 most populated states. Chief Phillips served as chair of the NCSC Board of Directors in 1997-98, at which time he also served as president of the Conference of Chief Justices. Phillips now is a partner with the Texas law firm Baker Botts L.L.P.