The Supreme Court of Texas reappointed former Justice Deborah Hankinson to a new three-year term as chair of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF.

“It’s a profound privilege to continue my service as the board chair for the Foundation, where I will continue to guide the organization in its mission of equal justice for all,” Hankinson said in a press release.

Hankinson is the first woman to serve as TAJF chair and is the foundation’s fifth chair in its history. She served on the Supreme Court of Texas from 1997 to 2002 and spearheaded the creation of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, or TAJC, the foundation’s partner in increasing access to justice. She was first appointed to the TAJF Board of Directors in 2003 and held the role of vice chair from 2008 to 2020.

The Supreme Court of Texas also announced the addition of real estate brokerage owner and former mayor of Eagle Pass Jose “Pepe” A. Aranda Jr. to the TAJF Board of Directors. Aranda will serve a three-year term beginning September 1, 2023.

“We also take great pride in Mr. Aranda’s addition to our board, whose experience is invaluable to our work being done across the state,” Hankinson said in a press release. “His expertise and dedication to improving the lives of Texans as a former mayor and county judge will undoubtedly strengthen our initiatives, helping serve those in need.”

Aranda served as the Maverick County judge from 2003 to 2011, where he oversaw the construction of a new water plant and water distribution system in northern areas of the county, along with the construction of a 650-bed detention center that created numerous jobs in the community, among many other achievements. Prior to his role as a Maverick County judge, Aranda was elected mayor of Eagle Pass from 1998 to 2002.

Houston attorney Travis Torrence, managing counsel of U.S. litigation at Shell, was also reappointed for another three-year term on the board.

For more information on the TAJF, go to