Article XII, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution

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Adopted February 15, 1876:

No private corporation shall be created except by general laws.

Editor Comments

This section is unnecessary because Article III, Section 56(b) generally prohibits "local or special" laws.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions


Historic Decisions

  • Miller v. Davis, 150 S.W.2d 973, 978 (Tex. 1941) ("Within the meaning of the above constitutional provisions, corporations are, generally speaking, divided into two classes, public corporations and private corporations. A corporation is public if it is created for public purposes only. In other words, a public corporation is one 'connected with the administration of the government, and the interests and franchises of which are the exclusive property and domain of the government itself.' A private corporation, generally speaking, is any corporation not classed as public. Stated in another way, a private corporation is one created for private, as distinguished from purely public, purposes.")
  • Union Cent. Life Ins. Co. v. Chowning, 26 S.W. 982, 984 (Tex. 1894) ("Appellant's counsel assert that the article in question is in conflict with article 1, § 3, of the constitution of the state of Texas, which is in these words: 'All free men when they form . . . .' It is not shown just how the law violates this section, and, indeed, it would be difficult to imagine how a corporation which has no natural rights could be said to be entitled to such rights and privileges as grow out of the formation of a social compact. It is the creature of law, and entitled to just such rights as the law grants to it. When granted, such rights are protected from invasion the same as the rights of any natural person.")

Library Resources

Online Resources