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

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nolo 991sw2d 768 re: inherent judicial power
nolo 991sw2d 768 re: inherent judicial power
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Article V, § 3, Constitution of Texas, provides that the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extends 'to questions of law arising in cases of which the Courts of Civil Appeals have appellate jurisdiction * * *.' It also provides that '(t)he 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.' Article V, § 5 provides: 'The Court of Criminal Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction co-extensive with the limits of the State in all criminal cases of whatever grade, * * *.' Article V, § 6, authorizing creation of courts of civil appeals, provides: 'Said Courts of Civil Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction co-extensive with the limits of their respective districts, which shall extend to all civil cases of which the District Courts of County Courts have original or appellate jurisdiction.' The clear effect of these constitutional provisions is that (1) the Supreme Court has no appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases; (2) the Court of Criminal Appeals has exclusive appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases; and, (3) except to enforce its own jurisdiction, the Supreme Court has only such original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus 'as may be specified' by the Legislature.
Pope v. Ferguson, 445 S.W.2d 950, 952

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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. The writ will not lie to correct a merely erroneous or voidable order of the trial judge, but will lie to correct one which he had no power to enter, and which was, therefore, void. Yett v. Cook, 115 Tex. 175, 268 S.W. 715, 281 S.W. 843; Seagraves v. Green, 116 Tex. 220, 288 S.W. 417; Pickle v. McCall, 86 Tex. 212, 24 S.W. 265. 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 [133 Tex. 64] 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.

State v. Ferguson, 125 S.W.2d 272, 274

  • Depoyster v. Baker, 34 S.W. 106, 108 (Tex. 1896) ("

The constitution, as amended in 1891, authorizes the legislature to confer original jurisdiction on the supreme court to issue writs of mandamus in such cases as may be specified, except as against the governor of the state. Article 946, Rev. St., reads thus: 'The supreme court, or any justice thereof, shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus as may be prescribed by law; and the said court, or the justices thereof, may issue writs of mandamus, procedendo, certiorari, and all writs necessary to enforce the jurisdiction of said court; and in term time or vacation may issue writs of quo warranto or mandamus against any district judge or officer of the state government, excpet the governor of the state.' 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. In order that we might determine the questions of fact between the plaintiff and the defendant in this case, it would be necessary that we should enter into an examination of the records of the general land office, either by an inspection of the books or by hearing witnesses who had examined the same, or by the production of certified copies of all the instruments therein contained relating to the subject-matter, and from this evidence to arrive at the conclusion which the law requires the commissioner to draw and certify from the same facts, thus revising the action of the commissioner. It was the policy of the legislature to commit this whole matter to the determination of the comptroller of the state, and to permit the production of the certificate of the commissioner of the general land office as sufficient proof, when the records of that office were such that he could give such certificate; but it was never intended that any court should enter into an examination of the question as to the right of a claimant, else the legislature would have provided for suit [89 Tex. 161] in the district court or other courts of the state, where the machinery of the court would have been sufficient and appropriate to attain this end.


Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution of Texas, expressly acknowledges that the State of Texas is subject to the Constitution of the United States. This court must recognize and follow the supreme law of the land. Emmons v. Pacific Indemnity Co., 146 Tex. 496, 208 S.W.2d 884 (1948); Gutierrez v. El Paso & N. E. R. Co., 102 Tex. 378, 117 S.W. 426 (1909); McKee v. Brooks, 64 Tex. 255 (1885). In Emmons we said that this court was controlled in the construction of federal laws by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. We hold that under Article V, Sections 1 and 3, of the Constitution of Texas, the Supreme Court of Texas possesses the power, and thus the duty, to correct a decision of a Court of Civil Appeals that conflicts with the "supreme law of the land" as established by the Congress and Supreme Court of the United States.

Eichelberger v. Eichelberger, 582 S.W.2d 395, 397

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"As stated above, the Texas Constitution grants this Court limited jurisdiction to review lower court decisions through the writ of habeas corpus. TEX. CONST. art. V, § 3(a) ("The Supreme Court 370*370 and the Justices thereof shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, as may be prescribed by law...."). Section 22.002(e) of the Government Code prescribes the reach of this Court's habeas jurisdiction:

The supreme court or a justice of the supreme court, either in termtime or vacation, may issue a writ of habeas corpus when a person is restrained in his liberty by virtue of an order, process, or commitment issued by a court or judge on account of the violation of an order, judgment, or decree previously made, rendered, or entered by the court or judge in a civil case. TEX. GOV'T CODE § 22.002(e) (emphasis added). Thus, if the basis of contempt is not a previous violation of a court order, this Court lacks jurisdiction to review a sentence of confinement by way of writ of habeas corpus, even in a civil case. Ex parte Morris, 162 Tex. 530, 349 S.W.2d 99, 100 (1961) (orig. proceeding)."

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Greenhill at 392

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nolo 991sw2d 768 re: inherent judicial power