Essay about Texas Courts

Essay about Texas Courts

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In 1822, Stephen F. Austin established one of the first courts in Texas and appointed a provisional justice of peace. Since Texas was a part of Mexico at the time, the Mexican governor replaced the justice of peace with three elected officials. (Utexas) Soon after Independence, the republic of Texas under the 1836 Constitution, established a supreme court and allowed Congress to create inferior courts. Judges in such courts were to be elected by Congress. Counties, at the time, had County and Justice of Peace courts, whose judges were popularly elected. With the entrance of Texas into the Union and the adoption of numerous constitutions during the period, Texas retained a similar judicial structure. The current 1876 Constitution created a Supreme Court with appellate civil jurisdiction, the court of appeals, a large number of district, county and justice of peace courts and authorized the legislature to create further courts as necessary. Overtime, the legislature added a number of layers to the judicial system creating a vast and complex judicial system with numerous overlapping jurisdictions between courts. Due to the complicated nature of the current judicial system in Texas, this paper will start by giving a brief explanation of the structure of the current judicial system in Texas and will move on by identifying some strengths and weaknesses in the current system and the need for reforms, present numerous proposed reforms and analyzes why the proposed reforms failed.


The current judicial system in Texas comprises of five levels of courts, some created by the State Constitution and others by the legislatures. At the local level, there are two courts; the Justice of Peace court and the Municipal Court. The Justice of Peace...


... middle of paper ...


...s fair to everybody. At the same time the governor can start a grass roots movement to raise awareness among the people over the need to reform the judiciary. When the legislature meets, the Governor can submit the amendment to the legislature for a vote. If the amendment passes, the can be placed on the ballot for the voters to decide during the next election.




Works Cited

Champagne, Anthony. "Judicial Reform In Texas." American Judges Association n.pag. Web. 14 Feb 2011.

"The Justice System." Texas Politics. University of Texas, n.d. Web. 14 Feb 2011. .


"History of Reform Efforts:Texas." American Judicature Society, n.d. Web. 14 Feb 2011..

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