Article XV, Section 6 of the Texas Constitution

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Adopted February 15, 1876:

Any judge of the District Courts of the State who is incompetent to discharge the duties of his office, or who shall be guilty of partiality, or oppression, or other official misconduct, or whose habits and conduct are such as to render him unfit to hold such office, or who shall negligently fail to perform his duties as judge; or who shall fail to execute in a reasonable measure the business in his courts, may be removed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and determine the causes aforesaid when presented in writing upon the oaths taken before some judge of a court of record of not less than ten lawyers, practicing in the courts held by such judge, and licensed to practice in the Supreme Court; said presentment to be founded either upon the knowledge of the persons making it or upon the written oaths as to the facts of creditable witnesses. The Supreme Court may issue all needful process and prescribe all needful rules to give effect to this section. Causes of this kind shall have precedence and be tried as soon as practicable.

Editor Comments

Judges of the district courts are subject to more removal provisions than any other Texas officeholder.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

None.

Historic Decisions

  • In re Bates, 555 S.W.2d 420, 427 (Tex. 1977) ("Judge Bates erroneously relies upon . . . . Section 7 of this same Article XV provides authority for the legislature to create new 'modes' for removal of officers, the removal of which is not provided for in the constitution. The statute upon which Judge Bates relies was enacted under the authority of this Section 7, Article XV, and is not applicable to proceedings under any of the removal methods provided for in the Texas Constitution. In 1965, Article V, Section 1-a, was added by amendment to the Constitution and provides this alternative method of removal of judges by the Supreme Court on recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.")
  • In re Laughlin, 265 S.W.2d 805, 808 (Tex. 1954) ("One is by impeachment by the House of Representatives, the articles of impeachment to be tried by the Senate . . . . A second is by the Governor on address of two-thirds of each House of the Legislature as provided in Section 8 of Article XV. The other is as provided in Section 6 of Article XV, above quoted. In each the judge is guaranteed a full and fair trial on the charges preferred against him, whether the charges be by way of articles of impeachment preferred by the House of Representatives and tried by the Senate, or by way of legislative address to the Governor, or by way of a presentment of causes filed by lawyers and tried by the Supreme Court.")

Library Resources

Online Resources