Supreme Court of Texas Decisions

Unlike every other state except Oklahoma, Texas divides its highest court into two entities. While the Texas Supreme Court resolves appeals of civil matters, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals resolves appeals of criminal cases. The Texas Supreme Court dates from 1836, when Texas was an independent republic that had not yet joined the U.S. In addition to holding mandatory jurisdiction over writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, it handles matters involving discipline in the legal profession and answers questions related to Texas law that have been certified from a federal appellate court.

The Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction over appeals of other cases. It generally focuses on cases that raise questions regarding a significant legal issue. Meanwhile, the Court of Criminal Appeals has discretionary jurisdiction over all criminal cases except those that involve a death sentence or other issues that affect the liberty of a defendant, which it must review.

To serve on the Supreme Court or the Court of Criminal Appeals, a candidate must be a resident of Texas and licensed to practice law in the state. They also must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 35 and 74, and they must have served as an attorney or a judge for at least 10 years. Nine justices serve on each court, although no justice represents a specific judicial district. Texas uses partisan elections to elect its justices, each of whom serves a six-year term. In a partisan election, the party affiliation of the candidate appears on the ballot.

If a vacancy arises, the Governor of Texas will appoint a replacement justice to serve until the next general election. The Texas Senate must confirm the appointment if it is in session. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals run for those specific positions in the general election.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Texas

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Texas
IN RE THE STATE OF TEXAS (Order)
Date: November 22, 2022
Docket Number: 22-1044
Columbia Valley Healthcare System, L.P. v. A.M.A. (Corrected)  
Date: November 18, 2022
Docket Number: 20-0681

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment below and remanded this case for further proceedings that will allow the district court to render a judgment that complies with the periodic-payments statute, holding that…

State v. Audi Aktiengesellschaft (Per Curiam)  
Date: November 18, 2022
Docket Number: 21-0133

Justia Opinion Summary: In these consolidated appeals the Supreme Court denied Respondents' request to withdraw the Chief Justice's certification letter and dismiss the underlying petitions as improvidently granted, holding that the Governor's…

Alsobrook v. MTGLQ Investors, LP (Per Curiam)  
Date: November 18, 2022
Docket Number: 22-0079

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court modified as affirmed the decision of the court of appeals to vacate the judgment of the trial court and dismiss the case, holding that the judgment must be modified to vacate the trial court's judgment…

Henry v. Sullivan (Per Curiam)  
Date: October 7, 2022
Docket Number: 21-0032

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court and court of appeals holding that the law grants authority to decide whether a statutory probate court judge receives a supplemental salary for serving as the…

Three Aces Towing, Inc. v. Landrum (Per Curiam)  
Date: September 23, 2022
Docket Number: 21-0652

Justia Opinion Summary: In this good Samaritan case, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing in part the order of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this wrongful death and…

In re Ayad (Per Curiam)  
Date: September 23, 2022
Docket Number: 22-0078

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court conditionally granted relief in this mandamus proceeding concerning a premarital agreement to resolve disputes by binding arbitration under religious law, holding that the trial court erred by ordering…

Leach v. City of Tyler (Per Curiam)  
Date: September 16, 2022
Docket Number: 21-0606

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the City of Tyler and dismissing this personal injury action arising under the Texas Tort Claims Act on the grounds that the…

Memorial Hermann Health System v. Gomez (Corrected)  
Date: September 9, 2022
Docket Number: 19-0872

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court for a pioneering cardiovascular surgeon in this dispute between the surgeon and the hospital where he formerly…

In re Self (Per Curiam)  
Date: August 26, 2022
Docket Number: 22-0658

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied an emergency mandamus action sought by Republican Party candidates in the November 2022 general election to remove their Libertarian Party opponents for failure to pay a statutory filing fee,…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.