Article XV, Section 3 of the Texas Constitution ("Impartial Trial by Senate; Two-thirds Vote Required")

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Adopted February 15, 1876:

When the Senate is sitting as a Court of Impeachment, the Senators shall be on oath, or affirmation impartially to try the party impeached, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present.

Editor Comments

The Texas Attorney General, in Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. GM-898 (1939), generally discussed the principles and procedures applicable to impeachment under this article.

Among other things, he opined that: "Mere negligence or excess of power without corrupt intention is not such an offense for which an officer should be impeached."

Attorney Steve Smith

Recent Decisions


Historic Decisions

  • Ferguson v. Maddox, 263 S.W. 888, 892 (Tex. 1924) ("We most emphatically repudiate the idea that any officer may be arbitrarily impeached. In the exercise of its exalted jurisdiction, the Senate must proceed according to law. It must ascertain the law by an examination of the Constitution, legal treatises, the common law and parliamentary precedents, and therefrom determine the nature, elements, and characteristics of impeachable offenses, and, in the light of reason, apply the principles so worked out to the facts of the case before it. This is not arbitrary power. It is the exercise of judicial authority under the Constitution. There is a vast difference between arbitrary power and final authority.")

Library Resources

Online Resources