Tribpedia: Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court is the highest appellate court for civil litigation in Texas. Located in Austin, the panel consists of a chief justice and eight justices who are elected statewide to staggered six-year terms. The governor also has the authority to appoint justices temporarily to fill vacancies. Appointed justices, who must be confirmed by the Texas Senate, may serve ...

Oil Driller's Lawsuit Could Cost Texas Billions in Tax Refunds

If successful, an oil driller's lawsuit could cost Texas up to $4.4 billion in sales tax refunds, comptroller Glenn Hegar warns.
If successful, an oil driller's lawsuit could cost Texas up to $4.4 billion in sales tax refunds, comptroller Glenn Hegar warns.

What is the definition of "tangible personal property?" The arcane question is at the center of a lawsuit that could reap energy companies a multibillion-dollar windfall and drain the state's budget surplus. “This is very serious, real money," Comptroller Glenn Hegar said.

The investiture of Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht and Justice Jeff Brown featuring an appearance by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
The investiture of Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht and Justice Jeff Brown featuring an appearance by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Commission Will Address Texas "Justice Gap"

A large number of Texans — mostly middle class — fall into a "justice gap" where they aren't poor enough to receive free legal aid provided to indigents but can't afford basic legal services on their own, according to Nathan Hecht, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

Former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court Wallace Jefferson speaks with a group of people after oral arguments before the Texas Supreme Court. Jefferson argued on behalf of six plaintiffs who were charged with court fees during divorce proceedings even though all six had filed "pauper petitions."
Former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court Wallace Jefferson speaks with a group of people after oral arguments before the Texas Supreme Court. Jefferson argued on behalf of six plaintiffs who were charged with court fees during divorce proceedings even though all six had filed "pauper petitions."

Tarrant County Defends Right to Charge Poor Petitioners

The Texas Supreme Court scrutinized the legality of court costs imposed on indigent plaintiffs — in this case, fees the Tarrant County clerk’s office charged six poor plaintiffs pursuing divorces — during oral arguments on Wednesday.

 

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller addresses the state Supreme Court on Tuesday. The state's highest civil court agreed to hear the state's appeal of a 2014 lower court ruling that struck down the state's method of funding public schools as unconstitutional. (AP/Eric Gay)
Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller addresses the state Supreme Court on Tuesday. The state's highest civil court agreed to hear the state's appeal of a 2014 lower court ruling that struck down the state's method of funding public schools as unconstitutional. (AP/Eric Gay)

State Asks Supreme Court to Drop School Finance Lawsuit

“Money isn’t pixie dust” when it comes to improving public schools, lawyers for the state of Texas told the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, arguing an appeal in what has been described as the most far-reaching school finance case in state history. They urged the high court to either dismiss or remand the lawsuit brought four years ago by nearly two-thirds of the state's school districts.

 

The Texas Supreme Court convenes in the House chamber for a special ceremony on November 11, 2013.
The Texas Supreme Court convenes in the House chamber for a special ceremony on November 11, 2013.

Analysis: Education Funding With a Judicial Assist

The Texas Supreme Court is about to hear the latest challenge to the state's financing of public schools. Maybe they'll throw it out, but history says otherwise: This almost always means changes in school policy and increases in taxes.

Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals justices listen to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech to legislators on Feb. 18, 2015.
Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals justices listen to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech to legislators on Feb. 18, 2015.

Analysis: Should Judges Exit Fundraising Business?

The U.S. Supreme Court says it's okay for states to bar judges from raising their own campaign cash. A lot of judges (and lawyers, too) think that's a pretty good idea that Texas might want to consider.

Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht delivered a State of the Judiciary speech to the Texas Legislature on Feb. 18, 2015.
Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht delivered a State of the Judiciary speech to the Texas Legislature on Feb. 18, 2015.

Texas Chief Justice Presses Lawmakers on Legal Aid for Veterans

UPDATED: Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht on Wednesday called on state lawmakers to continue their support for legal aid to the poor and military veterans and to complete unfinished work on student truancy reform.

 

Rep. John Otto R-Dayton, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, during Tribune Conversation event on February 12th, 2015
Rep. John Otto R-Dayton, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, during Tribune Conversation event on February 12th, 2015

Otto Touts Plan to Simplify School Finance System

The House’s chief budget writer on Thursday praised a proposal to overhaul the school finance system by grouping the state’s 1,026 regular school districts into a few "school finance districts" — a tax move aimed at equalizing per-student funding statewide.