Justice Harriett O’Neill released a statement today through the Court’s public information officer:

This week I met with Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and informed him that I do not intend to seek reelection when my term expires in 2010.

I have not yet decided what my future career path will be. I only hope that my service has justified the confidence placed in me by the voters who have four times elected me to the bench. For that I am forever grateful.

The statement also thanks her family, as well as her past and present court staff. In addition to listing each law clerk by first name, (( “And a special thank you to my law clerks Josh, Monica, John, Sinead, Basheer, Juliet, Ben, Ryan, Patrick, Stephen, Michelle, Reagan, Andrea, Molly, Aaron, Gavin, Megan, Neda, Ashley, Leah, Jenn, Josh, Julian and Whit, for the knowledge and fun we have shared, and the camaraderie I know will continue beyond the bench.” )) Justice O’Neill singles out Ginger Rodd for her service as staff attorney for the ten years Justice O’Neill has been on the Texas Supreme Court.

Justice O’Neill’s term runs through December 31, 2010. In the more immediate future, this announcement opens up the Republican primary nomination field for that seat on the Court. It may also spark more interest from Democratic challengers.