Longest serving Texas judge stepping down
Texas: The longest serving judge in the Texas judiciary will step down from her seat on October 31, 2009. She is Linda Thomas, and she joined the courts at the age of 30 in 1979. Her first post was on a family court where she served 8 years, before running for election to the Fifth District Court of Appeals. Thomas was re-elected to the Court of Appeals seven times, running unopposed in five of those races. She said, "I would hope [that's] because I did a good job and people didn't see the need to run against me."  Thomas became the first female Chief Justice of the court in 1995.
Her plans after leaving the court include teaching and volunteer work. She says, "I certainly am not viewing this as retirement. I'm just kind of hanging up the robe."