It’s no surprise that Gov. Rick Perry has picked Nathan Hecht, the longest-serving judge on the Texas Supreme Court, to be its next chief justice.Hecht’s record (he was first elected in 1988 and has won re-election four times, including last year) has been one of business-friendly opinions and skepticism of large jury verdicts. That’s Perry’s kind of guy.Hecht, 64, will replace Wallace Jefferson to become the court’s 27th chief justice. Jefferson has said he will leave in October for private legal practice.Perry’s choice, announced Tuesday, immediately drew a sharply negative reaction from Texas Watch, an Austin organization that says it favors “consumer protection, corporate accountability, [and] citizen advocacy.”“Nathan Hecht’s appointment to the top judicial post in Texas is a blow to the notion of fairness and balance on our state’s highest [civil] court,” Texas Watch said on its Eye on Texas blog. “Hecht is unapologetically pro-defendant and has been activist in his desire to protect insurance companies and other corporate defendants.”The group also noted that Hecht is under the cloud of a $29,000 ethics fine. The fine grew out of his 2005 public defense of White House lawyer and longtime friend Harriet Miers when she was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President George W. Bush.Accused of abusing his position, Hecht in turn was given a $168,000 discount on his own legal fees. The Texas Ethics Commission said he should have reported the discount as a campaign contribution. He’s still fighting the fine.Still, Hecht’s long experience on the court is an enormous asset. He has also been a dedicated advocate of improved legal services for the poor.He has said he will run for election as chief justice when Jefferson’s six-year term expires next year.Perry can now name another justice to complete Hecht’s term.