Difference between revisions of "Texas Constitution:Article III, Section 1"

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* ''Travelers' Ins. Co. v. Marshall'', 76 S.W.2d 1007, 1010 (Tex. 1934) ("We are asked, however, to hold that, under the ''police power'', one of the powers of government (''State v. Coleman'', 96 Conn. 190, 113 A. 385) vitalized by emergency conditions, the Legislature had the authority to pass the measure before us. We are asked to do this, although the Bill of Rights, section 16, expressly prohibits the enactment of laws impairing the obligation of contracts. . . . Obviously all these questions must be answered in the negative. This is so because the pronouncements of the Constitution are 'imperious, supreme and paramount.'")
 
* ''Travelers' Ins. Co. v. Marshall'', 76 S.W.2d 1007, 1010 (Tex. 1934) ("We are asked, however, to hold that, under the ''police power'', one of the powers of government (''State v. Coleman'', 96 Conn. 190, 113 A. 385) vitalized by emergency conditions, the Legislature had the authority to pass the measure before us. We are asked to do this, although the Bill of Rights, section 16, expressly prohibits the enactment of laws impairing the obligation of contracts. . . . Obviously all these questions must be answered in the negative. This is so because the pronouncements of the Constitution are 'imperious, supreme and paramount.'")
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* ''Eucaline Medicine Co. v. Standard Inv. Co.'', 25 S.W.2d 259, 263 (Tex.Civ.App.—Dallas 1930, ref'd) ("The American concept of constitutional government is that originally all legislative powers resided in the people, that certain of these powers were surrendered to the national government, and those not surrendered were reserved, and have been committed by the people of the states to their State Legislatures under certain limitations and restrictions. It follows therefore that the Legislature of a state in enacting statutes may exercise all the reserve powers of the people, except as expressly or impliedly limited in the Constitution.")
  
 
* ''Felton v. Johnson'', 247 S.W. 837, 840 (Tex. 1923) ("In view of the history of this bill, we think we would do violence to the plain intent of the Legislature if we recommended a construction of this statute which would include professional services of a real estate broker within its terms. Before we could make such a recommendation, we think it would be necessary for us to insert in this statute the very provisions which the Legislature not only refused to include therein but expressly eliminated therefrom. The courts should not do that. To do so would clearly invade the prerogatives of the legislative branch of the state government.")
 
* ''Felton v. Johnson'', 247 S.W. 837, 840 (Tex. 1923) ("In view of the history of this bill, we think we would do violence to the plain intent of the Legislature if we recommended a construction of this statute which would include professional services of a real estate broker within its terms. Before we could make such a recommendation, we think it would be necessary for us to insert in this statute the very provisions which the Legislature not only refused to include therein but expressly eliminated therefrom. The courts should not do that. To do so would clearly invade the prerogatives of the legislative branch of the state government.")

Latest revision as of 13:11, December 4, 2019

Adopted February 15, 1876:

The legislative power of this State shall be vested in a Senate and House of Representatives, which together shall be styled "The Legislature of the State of Texas."

Editor Comments

This fundamental section creates the Texas Legislature and vests in it the legislative power of the state.

In 1914, voters narrowly rejected a constitutional amendment providing for initiative and referendum.

The power granted by this section is subject to more specific provisions of the state constitution.

For example, the Governor is granted the veto, a significant legislative power, by Article IV, Section 14.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

  • Graphic Packaging Corp. v. Hegar, 538 S.W.3d 89, 104 (Tex. 2017) (citations omitted) ("The power to enact our state laws together with the power to amend or repeal existing state law is vested in the Texas Legislature. The Legislature's power to amend or repeal an earlier statute is generally limited only by federal or state constitutional provisions or federal law. Moreover, as a general rule, one 'legislature cannot prevent future legislatures from amending or repealing a statute.' . . . . But, because of the severe consequence that may ensue when an earlier legislature contractually binds future legislatures, contractual intent must be unmistakable.")
  • BIC Pen Corp. v. Carter, 251 S.W.3d 500, 504 (Tex. 2008) (citations omitted) ("First, '[a] federal law may expressly preempt state law.' Second, 'federal law or regulations may impliedly preempt state law or regulations if the statute's scope indicates that Congress intended federal law or regulations to occupy the field exclusively.' Finally, state law is impliedly preempted if it 'actually conflicts with federal law or regulations,' because '(1) it is impossible for a private party to comply with both state and federal requirements; or (2) state law obstructs accomplishing and executing Congress' full purposes and objectives.'")
  • FM Properties Operating Co. v. City of Austin, 22 S.W.3d 868, 873 (Tex. 2000) (citations omitted) ("Because this definition of delegation sweeps so broadly, it is not surprising that 'the debate over unconstitutional delegation becomes a debate not over a point of principle but over a question of degree.' Although the Constitution vests legislative power in the Legislature, courts have recognized that in a complex society like ours, delegation of legislative power is both necessary and proper in certain circumstances. Thus, the Legislature may delegate legislative power to local governments, administrative agencies, and even private entities under certain conditions.")
  • Proctor v. Andrews, 972 S.W.2d 729, 733 (Tex. 1998) ("Article II, Section 1 is a direct prohibition of the blending of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments. Article III, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution vests in the Legislature the power to make laws. . . . As such, Article II and Article III both apply when the constitutionality of the Legislature's delegation of power to another branch of state government, such as an administrative agency, is challenged. Article II is not relevant, however, to a legislative delegation of authority to an entity that is not a part of state government.")

Historic Decisions

  • Bexar Cty. Hosp. Dist. v. Crosby, 327 S.W.2d 445, 447 (Tex. 1959) ("It is also argued that since Section 4 of Article IX of the Constitution expressly authorized the Legislature to provide for the transfer to the District of hospital land, buildings and equipment owned by the City or County, but made no mention of delinquent taxes under the maxim 'Expresio unius est exclusio alterius,' it must be presumed that the framers of that Article and Section intended that the delinquent taxes be not transferred. There can be no dispute but that in this State the provisions of the Constitution serve only as a limitation on the power of the Legislature, and not as a grant of power.")
  • Friedman v. American Surety Co., 151 S.W.2d 570, 580 (Tex. 1941) ("It seems to be then argued that if it was necessary to amend the Constitution in the instances above mentioned, to enable the Legislature to pass laws to accomplish their purposes, it is necessary to amend the Constitution to enable the Legislature to accomplish the purposes of this Act. . . . We will say, however, that the history of the submission of constitutional amendments in this State will prove that not all of them have been submitted in order to create a legislative power. Some few have undoubtedly been submitted to ascertain the will of the people.")
  • De Shazo v. Webb, 113 S.W.2d 519, 523 (Tex. 1938) ("[T]he Legislature has the power to enact any law that is not in conflict with the Constitution of this state or of the United States, or valid laws enacted by the latter. No contention is made by contestee that the above statutes involve any federal question. . . . When we consider, however, that this is not a civil suit, and that the statute confers the power or capacity on these contestants to maintain this legislative action, and when we are unable to put our finger on a single constitutional provision which prohibits the conferring of such power, we are compelled to overrule this contention.")
  • Brown v. Humble Oil & Ref. Co., 83 S.W.2d 935, 941 (Tex. 1935) (citations omitted) ("In the absence of a well-defined standard or rule in the statutes defining the public policy of the state with respect to the mineral interest, the Railroad Commission would be without authority to promulgate rules, regulations, or orders relating to the protection of oil and gas. The power to pass laws rests with the Legislature, and that power cannot be delegated to some commission or other tribunal. In order to carry out the commands of the Legislature, the Railroad Commission adopted rule 37. The validity of this rule has been upheld repeatedly.")
  • Travelers' Ins. Co. v. Marshall, 76 S.W.2d 1007, 1010 (Tex. 1934) ("We are asked, however, to hold that, under the police power, one of the powers of government (State v. Coleman, 96 Conn. 190, 113 A. 385) vitalized by emergency conditions, the Legislature had the authority to pass the measure before us. We are asked to do this, although the Bill of Rights, section 16, expressly prohibits the enactment of laws impairing the obligation of contracts. . . . Obviously all these questions must be answered in the negative. This is so because the pronouncements of the Constitution are 'imperious, supreme and paramount.'")
  • Eucaline Medicine Co. v. Standard Inv. Co., 25 S.W.2d 259, 263 (Tex.Civ.App.—Dallas 1930, ref'd) ("The American concept of constitutional government is that originally all legislative powers resided in the people, that certain of these powers were surrendered to the national government, and those not surrendered were reserved, and have been committed by the people of the states to their State Legislatures under certain limitations and restrictions. It follows therefore that the Legislature of a state in enacting statutes may exercise all the reserve powers of the people, except as expressly or impliedly limited in the Constitution.")
  • Felton v. Johnson, 247 S.W. 837, 840 (Tex. 1923) ("In view of the history of this bill, we think we would do violence to the plain intent of the Legislature if we recommended a construction of this statute which would include professional services of a real estate broker within its terms. Before we could make such a recommendation, we think it would be necessary for us to insert in this statute the very provisions which the Legislature not only refused to include therein but expressly eliminated therefrom. The courts should not do that. To do so would clearly invade the prerogatives of the legislative branch of the state government.")
  • Union Cent. Life Ins. Co. v. Chowning, 26 S.W. 982, 984-85 (Tex. 1894) ("If it be conceded that the 12 per cent. is a penalty for a failure to pay when due, then the question arises, by what provision of our constitution is such legislation forbidden, and who will determine as to when the public is so interested in the enforcement of contracts as to justify the legislature in enforcing their performance by penalties? There is no clause of our state constitution which expressly or by implication prohibits the act. . . . The article is not in conflict with the constitution of the United States or of the state of Texas, and is valid.")
  • Stanfield v. State, 18 S.W. 577, 578 (Tex. 1892) ("There seems to be a well-recognized distinction, in respect to the question under consideration, between laws affecting only the municipal subdivisions of the state and such as affect the state at large; and, whatever differences of opinion there may be about the application of the rule to the general laws that affect alike the whole state, it seems to be well established that the maxim that the legislative power is not to be delegated is not trenched upon when the legislation merely bestows upon the municipal organizations of the state certain powers of local regulation.")
  • Tugwell v. Eagle Pass Ferry Co., 9 S.W. 120, 122-23 (Tex. 1888) ("But the question arises, has the state the right to grant a franchise for a ferry across a stream which constitutes a boundary between it and another state, or between it and a foreign nation? The answer to this is that it has the right, as far as its territory extends; that it, in ordinary cases, to the middle of the stream. This principle is distinctly announced by the supreme court of the United States in Conway v. Taylor's Ex'r, 1 Black, 603. . . . The political jurisdiction of the state extends to its boundary, which, by article 5 of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, is fixed, on the west, at the middle of the Rio Grande river.")
  • Werner v. City of Galveston, 7 S.W. 726, 727 (Tex. 1888) ("It is a well-settled principle that the legislature cannot delegate its authority to make laws by submitting the question of their enactment to a popular vote; and in State v. Swisher, 17 Tex. 441, this court held an act of the legislature which authorized the counties of the state to determine by popular vote whether liquor should be sold in their respective limits to be unconstitutional. But it does not follow from this that the legislature has no authority to confer a power upon a municipal corporation, and to authorize its acceptance or rejection by the municipality according to the will of its voters as expressed at the ballot-box.")
  • Morris & Cummings v. State, 62 Tex. 728, 738-39 (1884) ("But we are not pointed to any act of congress upon this subject whatever, and we certainly know of none which has attempted such a regulation. It is not enough that the harbor of Corpus Christi, and the water-borne commerce that passes to and from it, are within the general laws regulating the commerce of the country. . . . This principle is so well sustained by the authorities that no further discussion of it is required. We think, therefore, that the legislation of our state upon the subject of the franchise in question is not in violation of the constitution of the United States.")

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