Article I, Section 12 of the Texas Constitution ("Habeas Corpus")
Adopted February 15, 1876:
The writ of habeas corpus is a writ of right, and shall never be suspended. The Legislature shall enact laws to render the remedy speedy and effectual.
A writ of habeas corpus is a court order that directs a person who has detained another person to produce the detainee so the court can determine the legality of the detention.
In previous Texas constitutions the writ was, consistent with the federal constitution, a privilege rather than a right. Due to the Reconstruction experience, it was made absolute.
- In re Bonilla, 424 S.W.3d 528, 532 (Tex.Crim.App. 2014) ("The Texas Constitution declares that 'the writ of habeas corpus is a writ of right, and shall never be suspended.' Tex. Const., art. I, § 12. The Texas Constitution mandates that the Legislature 'shall enact laws to render the remedy speedy and effectual.' Id. Accordingly, the Legislature codified procedures for filing applications for writs of habeas corpus in death and non-death cases. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. arts. 11.07 (procedures for applications in non-death cases); 11.071 (procedures for applications in death cases).")
- Ex parte Carr, 511 S.W.2d 523, 525 (Tex.Crim.App. 1974) ("Of course, these decisions relate to matters arising in federal habeas corpus proceedings. . . . A proper respect for the concept of justice it is the office of the Great Writ to protect, requires that petitions be filed in earnest and that all contentions of merit be presented and ruled upon as expeditiously as possible. The writ of habeas corpus is too serious and important a matter to be lightly used, and easily abused. It is a shield against injustice which should not be suffered to become a weapon in the hands of spiteful persons.")
- Legate v. Legate, 28 S.W. 281, 282 (Tex. 1894) ("If, in this proceeding, it appears that such person is restrained by reason of his supposed violation of some criminal law or quasi criminal law, as an offense against the person, or contempt of court, then the proceeding must be classed as a criminal case, although upon the whole case the court should be of opinion that the act for which such person is detained does not constitute a violation of such law . . . but, if such person is not restrained by reason of some supposed violation of law, then the proceeding must be classed as a civil case.")
- Ex parte Coupland, 26 Tex. 386, 388-89 (1862) ("The relator  applied to the Chief Justice on the 16th of July, 1862, in vacation, for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that he was illegally restrained of his liberty by R. T. P. Allen, in Travis county, as he believed, 'without any order or process whatever, or any color of either.' The writ issued, and Allen made return that the relator was placed originally in his custody by order of R. J. Townes, provost marshal of Travis county; but that before the service of the writ upon him, the relator had been enrolled as a soldier of the Confederate States . . . .")
- Vernon's Annotated Constitution of the State of Texas (this multi-volume and up-to-date resource is available at all law libraries and many municipal libraries)
- The Texas State Constitution: A Reference Guide (this one-volume resource is available at most law libraries and some municipal libraries)
- The Constitution of the State of Texas: An Annotated and Comparative Analysis (this two-volume resource is available at most law libraries and some municipal libraries)
- Constitution of the State of Texas (1876) (this resource is published and maintained by the University of Texas School of Law)
- Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876 (this resource is published and regularly updated by the Legislative Council)
- Reports Analyzing Proposed Amendments (this resource is published and regularly updated by the Legislative Reference Library)