Justice Al Gonzales was appointed to the Supreme Court of Texas on January 11, 1999, by Governor George W. Bush to fill the un-expired term of Justice Raul Gonzalez. Before his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Gonzales served as Texas’ 100th Secretary of State from December 2, 1997 to January 10, 1999.
Among his many duties as Secretary of State, Justice Gonzales served as Senior Advisor to the Governor, Chief Elections Officer, and the Governor’s lead liaison on Mexico and border issues.
Prior to his appointment as Secretary of State, Justice Gonzales served as General Counsel to Governor Bush for three years. Before joining the Governor’s staff, Justice Gonzales was a partner with the law firm of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. in Houston, Texas. He joined the firm in June 1982. While in private practice, Justice Gonzales also taught law as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center.
Among his many professional and civic activities, Justice Gonzales is an elected member of the American Law Institute. He was a board trustee of the Texas Bar Foundation from 1996 to 1999, a board director for the State Bar of Texas from 1991 to 1994, and President of the Houston Hispanic Bar Association from 1990 to 1991. He served as a board director of the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast from 1993 to 1994, and President of Leadership Houston during this same period. In 1994, Justice Gonzales served as Chair of the Commission for District Decentralization of the Houston Independent School District, and as a member of the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions for Rice University.
Justice Gonzales was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Texas Real Estate Center in 1987 by Governor Bill Clements, and to the Judicial Districts Board in 1996 by Governor Bush. He was Special Legal Counsel to the Houston Host Committee for the 1990 Summit of Industrialized Nations, and a member of delegations sent by the American Council of Young Political Leaders to Mexico in 1996 and to the People’s Republic of China in 1995.
Justice Gonzales was born in San Antonio, Texas and raised in Houston. He is a graduate of Texas public schools, Rice University and Harvard Law School. Justice Gonzales served in the United States Air Force between 1973 and 1975, and attended the United States Air Force Academy between 1975 and 1977.