Newsom on list of possible Supreme Court appointees
8th District Judge under consideration to fill vacancy on state's highest civil court
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Sept. 22, 2004 -- Eighth Judicial District Judge Robert E. Newsom has tossed his hat in the ring as one of the judges seeking appointment to Texas Supreme Court as a justice.

"I would consider it an honor and privilege to serve the state of Texas as a justice of the Supreme Court," Newsom said Tuesday in a prepared statement. "I am humbled by being included in the list of judges to be considered for this position by Governor Rick Perry, and if chosen for this honorable position, I will continue in my quest to bring dignity and respect to the bench."

Texas Supreme Court currently has two openings, created by a shift in the chief justice post and a justice position. Wallace B. Jefferson took the oath of office of supreme court justice Monday, replacing Thomas R. Phillips who retired on Sept. 3. Phillips, who holds the distinction of being the third-longest standing court justice in Texas history, stepped down earlier this month after nearly 17 years as chief justice.

The second opening was the result of Michael H. Schneider's resignation as a supreme court justice effective Sunday to become the U.S. District Judge of the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler effective Monday. The former justice's nomination to the federal bench was approved Sept. 7 by the U.S. Senate.

If Newsom is selected to the nine-member state Supreme Court panel, Gov. Rick Perry would have to appoint a new judge to sit in Newsom's seat as Eighth Judicial District Court Judge until the next general election.

Newsom has been involved in the legal system in Hopkins County since 1987, when he was first selected to serve as an assistant district attorney in Sulphur Springs. As an ADA for the 8th Judicial District, Newsom prosecuted felony cases in Hopkins, Franklin, Delta and Rains counties until 1993, when he was elected Hopkins County Attorney.

He prosecuted misdemeanor offenses in Hopkins County Court-At-Law and provided legal support to the county commissioners court from 1993 to 1997 as county attorney.

Newsom was then elected as judge of the 8th Judicial District Court, a position which has given him civil and criminal jurisdiction in Hopkins, Franklin, Delta and Rains counties. He has sat on that bench since 1997.

He holds a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University Law School and a bachelor of science degree from East Texas State University in Commerce. He is also a graduate of Sulphur Springs High School.

Newsom and his wife of 32 years, Robbie Newsom, have two sons, U.S. Army Capt. Joel Newsom and U.S. Army Capt. Jonathan Newsom. They also have two granddaughters, 6-year-old Madilyn and 2-year-old Hannah, and one grandson, 4-year-old Jackson. Robbie works as a registered nurse at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital.

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