Difference between revisions of "Texas Constitution:Article V, Section 3"

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As amended in 1891, this section read: "The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction only except as herein specified, which shall be coextensive with the limits of the State. Its appellate jurisdiction shall extend to questions of law arising in cases of which the Courts of Civil Appeals have appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations as the Legislature may prescribe. Until otherwise provided by law the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend to questions of law arising in the cases in the Courts of Civil Appeals in which the judges of any Court of Civil Appeals may disagree, or where the several Courts of Civil Appeals may hold differently on the same question of law, or where a statute of the State is held void. The Supreme Court and the justices thereof shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus as may be prescribed by law, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law the said courts [sic] and the justices thereof may issue the writs of mandamus, procedendo, certiorari and such other writs as may he necessary to enforce its jurisdiction. The Legislature may confer original jurisdiction on the Supreme Court to issue writs of quo warranto and mandamus in such cases as may be specified, except as against the Governor of the State. The Supreme Court shall also have power upon affidavit or otherwise as by the court may be determined, to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the proper exercise of its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court shall sit for the transaction of business from the first Monday in October of each year until the last Saturday of June in the next year, inclusive, at the capital of the State. The Supreme Court shall appoint a clerk, who shall give bond in such manner as is now or may hereafter be required by law, and he may hold his office for four years, and shall be subject to removal by said court for good cause entered of record on the minutes of said court, who shall receive such compensation as the Legislature may provide."
 
As amended in 1891, this section read: "The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction only except as herein specified, which shall be coextensive with the limits of the State. Its appellate jurisdiction shall extend to questions of law arising in cases of which the Courts of Civil Appeals have appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations as the Legislature may prescribe. Until otherwise provided by law the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend to questions of law arising in the cases in the Courts of Civil Appeals in which the judges of any Court of Civil Appeals may disagree, or where the several Courts of Civil Appeals may hold differently on the same question of law, or where a statute of the State is held void. The Supreme Court and the justices thereof shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus as may be prescribed by law, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law the said courts [sic] and the justices thereof may issue the writs of mandamus, procedendo, certiorari and such other writs as may he necessary to enforce its jurisdiction. The Legislature may confer original jurisdiction on the Supreme Court to issue writs of quo warranto and mandamus in such cases as may be specified, except as against the Governor of the State. The Supreme Court shall also have power upon affidavit or otherwise as by the court may be determined, to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the proper exercise of its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court shall sit for the transaction of business from the first Monday in October of each year until the last Saturday of June in the next year, inclusive, at the capital of the State. The Supreme Court shall appoint a clerk, who shall give bond in such manner as is now or may hereafter be required by law, and he may hold his office for four years, and shall be subject to removal by said court for good cause entered of record on the minutes of said court, who shall receive such compensation as the Legislature may provide."
  
The last substantive change to this section, which defines the scope of the Supreme Court's authority, was made in 1980. See, e.g., Joe Greenhill, ''The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court'', 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, [https://texaslegalguide.com/images/33_TTLR_377.pdf#page=16 392] (2002) ("It made clear that the supreme court had residual powers, which translated into inherent power.").
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The last substantive change to this section, which defines the scope of the Supreme Court's authority, was made in 1980. Cf. Joe Greenhill, ''The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court'', 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, [https://texaslegalguide.com/images/33_TTLR_377.pdf#page=16 392] (2002) ("It made clear that the supreme court had residual powers, which translated into inherent power.").
  
 
Note that the language in Article V, Section [[Texas Constitution:Article V, Section 6|6]] that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
 
Note that the language in Article V, Section [[Texas Constitution:Article V, Section 6|6]] that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Latest revision as of 19:05, November 29, 2019

As amended November 6, 2001:

(a) The Supreme Court shall exercise the judicial power of the state except as otherwise provided in this Constitution. Its jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the limits of the State and its determinations shall be final except in criminal law matters. Its appellate jurisdiction shall be final and shall extend to all cases except in criminal law matters and as otherwise provided in this Constitution or by law. The Supreme Court and the Justices thereof shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, as may be prescribed by law, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, the said courts [sic] and the Justices thereof may issue the writs of mandamus, procedendo, certiorari and such other writs, as may be necessary to enforce its jurisdiction. The Legislature may confer original jurisdiction on the Supreme Court to issue writs of quo warranto and mandamus in such cases as may be specified, except as against the Governor of the State.

(b) The Supreme Court shall also have power, upon affidavit or otherwise as by the court may be determined, to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the proper exercise of its jurisdiction.

Editor Comments

As amended in 1891, this section read: "The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction only except as herein specified, which shall be coextensive with the limits of the State. Its appellate jurisdiction shall extend to questions of law arising in cases of which the Courts of Civil Appeals have appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations as the Legislature may prescribe. Until otherwise provided by law the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend to questions of law arising in the cases in the Courts of Civil Appeals in which the judges of any Court of Civil Appeals may disagree, or where the several Courts of Civil Appeals may hold differently on the same question of law, or where a statute of the State is held void. The Supreme Court and the justices thereof shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus as may be prescribed by law, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law the said courts [sic] and the justices thereof may issue the writs of mandamus, procedendo, certiorari and such other writs as may he necessary to enforce its jurisdiction. The Legislature may confer original jurisdiction on the Supreme Court to issue writs of quo warranto and mandamus in such cases as may be specified, except as against the Governor of the State. The Supreme Court shall also have power upon affidavit or otherwise as by the court may be determined, to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the proper exercise of its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court shall sit for the transaction of business from the first Monday in October of each year until the last Saturday of June in the next year, inclusive, at the capital of the State. The Supreme Court shall appoint a clerk, who shall give bond in such manner as is now or may hereafter be required by law, and he may hold his office for four years, and shall be subject to removal by said court for good cause entered of record on the minutes of said court, who shall receive such compensation as the Legislature may provide."

The last substantive change to this section, which defines the scope of the Supreme Court's authority, was made in 1980. Cf. Joe Greenhill, The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court, 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, 392 (2002) ("It made clear that the supreme court had residual powers, which translated into inherent power.").

Note that the language in Article V, Section 6 that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

  • In re Reece, 341 S.W.3d 360, 371 (Tex. 2011) (citations omitted) ("Until 1876, this Court possessed the general power to issue writs of habeas corpus, as well as appellate jurisdiction over criminal law matters. . . . At the same time, the Constitution revoked this Court's habeas corpus jurisdiction. In 1891, the Texas Constitution was amended to abolish the Court of Appeals and create the Court of Criminal Appeals, limiting the Court of Criminal Appeals' appellate jurisdiction to criminal law matters, and granting this Court habeas corpus jurisdiction once more, but only as 'may be prescribed by law.' This constitutional provision has remained unchanged for over 100 years.")
  • Harrell v. State, 286 S.W.3d 315, 319 (Tex. 2009) ("Properly viewed, it is a civil post-judgment collection action that is (1) distinct from the underlying criminal judgments assessing Harrell's conviction, sentence, and court costs, and (2) aimed at seizing funds to satisfy the monetary portion of those judgments. . . . At bottom, Harrell is alleging the alleged wrongful taking of property. Given that this case presents no construction of a criminal statute, and instead presents the issue of a trial court's ability to seize funds post-judgment pursuant to a civil statute, we hold that withdrawal orders are more substantively civil than criminal. We now turn to the merits of Harrell's due-process claim.")
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit v. Amalgamated Transit Union Local No. 1338, 273 S.W.3d 659, 666-67 (Tex. 2008) (footnote omitted) ("In the nearly thirty years since we decided Eichelberger, we have not invoked our constitutional jurisdiction to remove a conflict between a Texas appellate court and the United States Supreme Court, but we adhere to our holding that this Court has such jurisdiction. . . . Nor should our holding in Eichelberger apply with any less force in interlocutory appeals. On the contrary, the fact that provision has been made for an interlocutory appeal indicates that the Legislature has determined that appellate review before a final judgment is important.")
  • In re Nolo Press/Folk Law, Inc., 991 S.W.2d 768, 769-70 (Tex. 1999) (footnotes omitted) ("The Supreme Court of Texas has inherent power to regulate the practice of law in Texas for the benefit and protection of the justice system and the people as a whole. The Court's inherent power is derived in part from Article II, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution, which divides State governmental power among three departments. The authority conveyed to the Supreme Court by this constitutional provision includes the regulation of judicial affairs and the direction of the administration of justice in the judicial department. Within this authority is the power to govern the practice of law.")

Historic Decisions

  • Eichelberger v. Eichelberger, 582 S.W.2d 395, 399-400 (Tex. 1979) ("The language of Hughes was overbroad when it categorically denied the existence of the inherent power of a court . . . . Several other cases decided by this court have similarly stated that inherent powers of the court do not exist; however, closer examination reveals that such statements which have negated the existence of inherent power were made to deny the existence of a court's inherent 'jurisdictional' power. Our holdings have simply been that we have no inherent power to take jurisdiction of a case when that jurisdiction has been expressly or impliedly granted to another court of this state.")
  • Pope v. Ferguson, 445 S.W.2d 950, 952 (Tex. 1969) (citation omitted) ("By his petition he asks only that the trial judge be directed to dismiss the criminal charge pending against him. . . . This court was created by the Constitution of the State of Texas and has only such jurisdiction as is conferred upon it by the Constitution and statutes of the State. The court has no 'inherent power' and not even the Supreme Court of the United States can confer upon it a power or jurisdiction beyond the limitations imposed by the source of its existence. This is not a lately developed philosophy, born of a desire to escape responsibility in a troublesome area of the law.")
  • Ex parte Hofmayer, 420 S.W.2d 137, 138 (Tex. 1967) ("Under the provisions of the Texas Constitution and the pertinent Texas statutes relating to the original jurisdiction of this Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals, the circumstance that the cause out of which a restraint of a person's liberty arises may be classified as a civil case, is not sufficient to vest this Court with habeas corpus jurisdiction. Under Article 1737, Vernon's Ann.Tex.Stats., our jurisdiction to issue an original writ of habeas corpus extends only to those causes in which . . . . Under our Constitution, we do not have general original jurisdiction to grant the writ of habeas corpus as does the Court of Criminal Appeals.")
  • State v. Ferguson, 125 S.W.2d 272, 274 (Tex. 1939) ("It has been determined that these provisions of the constitution and statutes confer upon this court the power, in original proceedings, to issue writs of mandamus against trial judges in accordance with the usages of common law. . . . It is made to appear that relief is being sought in the Court of Civil Appeals by appeal in one of these causes. We do not think it necessary to consider whether these orders are temporary injunctions, as distinguished from restraining orders, or whether full relief could be granted by the Court of Civil Appeals, for this court's jurisdiction is not dependent upon a determination of those questions.")
  • Morrow v. Corbin, 62 S.W.2d 641, 644 (Tex. 1933) (citations omitted) ("'Judicial power' is the power of a court to decide and pronounce a judgment and carry it into effect between persons and parties who bring a case before it for a decision. 'Jurisdiction' of a particular court is that portion of the judicial power which it has been authorized to exercise by the Constitution or by valid statutes. . . . It was the purpose of the framers of the Constitution to make each tribunal independent of all others in the exercise of the authority confided to it, except in so far as powers of revision or direction may be given in the Organic Law or valid statutes thereunder to appellate over trial tribunals.")
  • Love v. Wilcox, 28 S.W.2d 515, 522 (Tex. 1930) ("The Constitution, in defining the original jurisdiction which may be conferred upon the Supreme Court, in section 3, art. 5, states: 'The legislature may confer original jurisdiction on the supreme court to issue writs of quo warranto and mandamus . . . .' A comparison of the above quotation from the act with the quoted constitutional provision makes it obvious that the Legislature has attempted to confer power upon the Supreme Court to issue writs under its original jurisdiction other than mandamus and quo warranto, when the Constitution limits the original jurisdiction of the court to the issuance of writs of quo warranto and mandamus.")
  • Millikin v. Jeffrey, 299 S.W. 393, 397 (Tex. 1927) ("In the instant case the relator is under sentence, not alone of the district court which tried him, and which court would ordinarily have the power to proceed to try the case, but he is likewise under judgment and sentence of the Court of Criminal Appeals of this state, an appellate court with more extensive jurisdiction than our own in criminal matters, and certainly co-ordinate in matters of habeas corpus; and since . . . , it would follow that we have no jurisdiction of the case made by relator's petition. Any other rule would produce a conflict of jurisdiction and authority never contemplated by the Constitution and statutes of this state.")
  • Cleveland v. Ward, 285 S.W. 1063, 1068 (Tex. 1926) (citations omitted) ("That this court has power by mandamus to require a district judge or court to proceed to trial and judgment is settled by the Constitution, statutes, and decisions. Having the power to issue the writ of mandamus directing Judge Ward to proceed to judgment, we necessarily have the correlative authority to make all other orders, including those for prohibition and injunction, to protect and make efficacious the exercise of that power by us. This power to issue all writs necessary to enforce our jurisdiction finds its sanction in the Constitution, and exists, regardless of statutory omissions or declarations.")
  • In re House Bill No. 537, 256 S.W. 573, 574 (Tex. 1923) ("It is obvious that such powers as the act undertakes to confer on the single justice do not come within the court's appellate jurisdiction, nor within the court's original jurisdiction specified in the Constitution. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is its power to hear and determine causes. . . . Therefore the explicit language of the Constitution puts it beyond the power of the Legislature to confer on the Supreme Court such powers as this act attempts to confer on each justice, that is, to determine what causes in district courts, civil and criminal, shall be speedily determined, and to require the calling and holding of special terms.")
  • Betts v. Johnson, 73 S.W. 4, 5 (Tex. 1903) ("[T]he Supreme Court, with the aid of two commissions, had been unable to dispose of the appeals which were brought to it. The purpose of the amendment was to correct this evil by providing for a sufficient number of courts of civil appeals to dispose of the business in the first instance. So as to avoid the very evil which it was the object of the amendment to correct, the act of April 13, 1892, very carefully limited the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. It would seem, therefore, that the Legislature did not intend to confer original jurisdiction upon this court except in cases where there existed some special reason for its exercise.")
  • Hines v. Morse, 47 S.W. 516, 517 (Tex. 1898) ("The constitution limits the sessions of the supreme court to a specified term of nine months, and fixes the place where it must sit, and does not specially provide for the exercise of its jurisdiction at any other time or place. It follows that it can act at no other time or place. . . . The power, however, is limited to the grant of such process as may be necessary to enforce the jurisdiction of the court. The provision, in our opinion, is a wise one. It may be necessary to issue a writ to enforce the jurisdiction of the court in vacation as well as in term time, and for this reason, doubtless, the power was conferred upon the justices of the court.")
  • Depoyster v. Baker, 34 S.W. 106, 108 (Tex. 1896) ("This court is not provided with the means of ascertaining the facts in any controversy. It has none of the powers conferred by law upon the district court to take depositions, issue subpoenas, writs of attachment, or other process necessary to the trial of issues of fact; and in this court the right of trial by jury, which is secured by the constitution to every person demanding it, could not be accorded. We therefore conclude that it was not the intention of the framers of the constitution or the legislature to empower this court to issue writs of mandamus, except where the facts were undisputed, and the right clear and unquestioned.")

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