Article I, Section 15-a of the Texas Constitution ("Commitment of Persons of Unsound Mind")
Added November 6, 1956:
No person shall be committed as a person of unsound mind except on competent medical or psychiatric testimony. The Legislature may enact all laws necessary to provide for the trial, adjudication of insanity and commitment of persons of unsound mind and to provide for a method of appeal from judgments rendered in such cases. Such laws may provide for a waiver of trial by jury, in cases where the person under inquiry has not been charged with the commission of a criminal offense, by the concurrence of the person under inquiry, or his next of kin, and an attorney ad litem appointed by a judge of either the County or Probate Court of the county where the trial is being held, and shall provide for a method of service of notice of such trial upon the person under inquiry and of his right to demand a trial by jury.
This section, which provides a narrow exception to Article I, Section 15, is a direct response to the Texas Supreme Court decision referenced below.
- White v. White, 196 S.W. 508, 511-12 (Tex. 1917) ("A trial by jury means something more than a hearing before a commission such as that prescribed by said act. With us in civil cases it means . . . a court of competent jurisdiction, and sworn to render an impartial verdict according to the law and the evidence, the hearing to be in the presence and under the supervision of a court duly authorized and empowered to rule on the evidence, and, except in courts of justices of the peace, to charge on the law of the case, and to set aside the verdict if, in the opinion of the court, it is contrary to the law and the evidence.")
- 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)