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 ...

Tarrant County Defends Right to Charge Poor Petitioners

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."

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 Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.
Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.

Indigent Court Fee Case Goes Before Supreme Court

When and how local clerks can make poor plaintiffs pay court fees to get divorced will be argued before the Texas Supreme Court Wednesday, with both sides hoping the justices provide clarity on the contentious issue.  

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller addresses the state Supreme Court Sept. 1, 2015 during oral arguments in the latest school finance case. 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 Sept. 1, 2015 during oral arguments in the latest school finance case. 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 Urges Texas 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. 

 

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 We Take Judges Out of the 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.

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock R-Killeen during a public education committee hearing on February 19th, 2013
Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock R-Killeen during a public education committee hearing on February 19th, 2013

School Finance Proposal on Life Support

A school finance plan that would result in an extra $800 million for public education faces dim prospects in the dwindling weeks of the legislative session, a top House lawmaker said Tuesday.

 

Attorney David Dow.
Attorney David Dow.

Lawyer's One-Year Banishment Leads to Showdown

When the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals banished a prominent death row attorney this year, it set in motion an interesting showdown not only with the lawyer, David Dow, but one with its own glossier sibling, the Texas Supreme Court. 

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. 

 

 

Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.
Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.

High Court Sends Ford Rollover Case Back to Appellate Court

It’s been a decade since the lead juror in a rollover case against Ford Motor Co. sent a note to a judge that prompted Ford to settle the case for $3 million. On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court sent the case back to an appellate court again.