Justice Evan Young is a proven legal scholar and public servant. Evan’s extensive background in private practice and public service makes him extraordinarily well qualified to serve the people of Texas on their Supreme Court. Evan clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court and has dedicated his life to advancing the rule of law at home and abroad. He will faithfully defend the Constitution and laws for the people of Texas.
Evan stood out as a scholar early in his life as valedictorian of Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio, one of 20 USA Today national Academic All-Stars, a British Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, and a Yale Law graduate. With gratitude for his opportunities, Evan has always been a teacher at heart—from his college days volunteering as a history teacher, followed by literacy tutoring in Austin, to many years of teaching courses on Religious Liberty and Federal Courts as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
Evan is a devoted husband and father. Church is central to him, his wife, and his daughter. In private practice, he used his free time volunteering to advocate for the religious freedoms that our Constitution promises. He is committed to a life of service and community learned from the example set by his grandfathers, father, and uncle—all veterans of the U.S. Air Force.
Evan’s wife, Tobi, who previously served as the General Counsel for former President George W. Bush and clerked for Justice Neil Gorsuch. Evan and Tobi live in Austin with their daughter Romilly.
Evan Young’s background can be summed up simply: dedication to service, faith, family, and the law.
Ready to Serve the People of Texas
Before Governor Greg Abbott asked him to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, Evan Young was a partner at Texas’s oldest law firm, Baker Botts L.L.P., which was founded in 1840. Evan chaired the Supreme Court and Constitutional Law practice group at Baker Botts. He successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Texas, and multiple federal and state trial and appellate courts across the country.
Evan was only 34 years old when the U.S. Supreme Court appointed him to brief and argue Setser v. United States—a case where the U.S. Department of Justice refused to defend the Fifth Circuit’s judgment. The Court, in a 6-3 opinion, adopted Evan’s argument.
Law Clerk to Justice Scalia
Following law school, Justice Young clerked in the federal judiciary, including for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. After his clerkships, he became Counsel to the Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, serving Attorneys General Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mukasey.
Serving in Baghdad, Iraq
While on the Attorney General’s staff, Evan accepted a detail to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, where he was the Deputy Rule of Law Coordinator. In that position, he worked to assist the Iraqi government in its efforts to strengthen its legal institutions, and especially its courts’ commitment to applying the law fairly and faithfully in every case, regardless of personal connections, religious affiliation, or political positions. Evan received awards of distinction for his service at the Department of Justice for his work both at home and in Iraq.
Recognized as a Proven Legal Scholar and Public Servant
In private practice, Evan distinguished himself as a prominent appellate litigator who represented a wide variety of clients in Texas and beyond.
Many of Evan’s cases were pro bono representations, often in the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on religious liberty. To take one example, in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Washington Post and other media covered his brief on behalf of a group of cake artists from across the country. With actual examples of their handiwork, he showed why their expression in creating unique and often extraordinarily beautiful works of art using icing and cake was just as entitled to First Amendment protection as artists who use paint or clay.
Justice Young has long served as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where he has been named professor of the year. His courses on Federal Courts and Religious Liberty have attracted a wide variety of energetic and accomplished students whose diversity of viewpoints have enriched and enlivened the discussions and debates for everyone. Evan has also taught four short courses at the University of Mississippi School of Law, mostly involving U.S. Supreme Court history.
Articles covering Evan’s legal practice have been published nationally, including in the Washington Post and the National Law Journal. Evan has also written widely, ranging from technical legal articles, to an op-ed in USA Today, to a biography of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark that was written while he was still a high school student—at Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio. He has served in leadership roles in community organizations, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Texas Regional Office.
Justice Young is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served for many years on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee, which drafts all the rules that apply in Texas courts. In 2017, Governor Abbott nominated Evan to the Texas Judicial Council, and the Texas Senate confirmed him. Evan served on the Council, which is the policy-making body for the Texas Judiciary and studies a wide variety of court reforms, until his appointment to the Supreme Court.
Justice Young holds a law degree from Yale; a First Class degree in Modern History from Oxford University, where he was a British Marshall Scholar; and an undergraduate degree in History with minors in Japanese and Political Science from Duke University, where he was an A.B. Duke Memorial Scholar and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude.
Professional and Civic Activities & Accolades
- American Law Institute
- Business Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Chair
- Frequent Continuing Legal Education speaker
- Federalist Society
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Texas Regional Office, former Chair
- Texas Supreme Court Historical Society
- University of Texas Law Professor of the Year
- Best Lawyer at Austin’s 40 under 40 Awards
- Texas Appellate Super Lawyer
- Active in religious liberty pro bono work
- Texas Judicial Council
- Supreme Court Advisory Committee