Nathan Hecht, the recently sworn-in Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, is a disgrace: a judge who ignores the spirit of the law. For five years now, he has appealed a $29,000 fine assessed by the Texas Ethics Commission. The commission says that Hecht received a discount for his legal bills with the firm Jackson Walker, which, according to the commission, amounted to a campaign contribution. It is now the longest-running appeal of a state ethics fine.

The prosecution of ethics violations lies with the office of the attorney general, but Greg Abbott has not pursued a resolution of the case. There is a simple fix to this situation. The Legislature should enact a statute that imposes a deadline on officials who do not pay their fines. Officials who ignore their fines face a compounding of the penalty.

(Image via AP)