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
Barrow-Shaver Resources Co. v. Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. (Opinion)  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 17-0332

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case arising from an offer to purchase an assignment of a farmout that fell through the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that Plaintiff could not prevail on its breach of con...

Barbara Technologies Corp. v. State Farm Lloyds (Opinion)  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 17-0640

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals in this insurance dispute, holding that an insurer's payment of an appraisal award is neither an acknowledgment of liability under the policy nor an award o...

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center v. McKenzie (Opinion)  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 17-0730

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the order of the trial court denying Defendant hospital's plea to the jurisdiction on Plaintiff's complaint alleging personal injury and death pro...

Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds (Opinion)  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 17-1048

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals in this insurance dispute, holding that an insurer's payment of an appraisal award bars an insured's breach of contract claim a...

In re F.E.N. (Per Curiam)  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 18-0439

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied the petition for review filed by the Department of Family and Protective Services challenging the court of appeals' reversal of an order of the trial court granting the Department sole managing c...

Silguero v. CSL Plasma, Inc. (Opinion)  
Date: June 28, 2019
Docket Number: 18-1022

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered questions certified to it by holding that a plasma collection center is a "public facility" under Tex. Hum. Res. Code (THRC) 121.002(5) and that a plasma collection center may reject a person w...

Nath v. Texas Children's Hospital (Per Curiam)  
Date: June 21, 2019
Docket Number: 17-0110

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal of a $1.4 million sanction levied to compensate Respondents, the prevailing parties, for their attorney's fees in defending against a frivolous lawsuit, the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals' jud...

Trial v. Dragon (Opinion)  
Date: June 21, 2019
Docket Number: 18-0203

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals divesting the Petitioners of an interest in property they inherited from their mother, holding that the estoppel by deed doctrine did not apply in this case...

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.