By: Duncan S.J.R. No. 9
Line and page numbers may not match official copy.
Bill not drafted by TLC or Senate E&E.
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION
1-1 proposing a constitutional amendment providing for gubernatorial
1-2 appointment to fill vacancies in the offices of appellate justices
1-3 and judges, for nonpartisan retention elections for those justices
1-4 and judges, and for gubernatorial appointment to fill vacancies in
1-5 the office of district judge in accordance with certain standards.
1-6 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-7 SECTION 1. Sections 2, 4, 6, and 28, Article V, Texas
1-8 Constitution, are amended to read as follows:
1-9 Sec. 2. (a) The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief
1-10 Justice and eight Justices, any five of whom shall constitute a
1-11 quorum, and the concurrence of five shall be necessary to a
1-12 decision of a case; provided, that when the business of the court
1-13 may require, the court may sit in sections as designated by the
1-14 court to hear argument of causes and to consider applications for
1-15 writs of error or other preliminary matters.
1-16 (b) No person shall be eligible to serve in the office of
1-17 Chief Justice or Justice of the Supreme Court unless the person is
1-18 licensed to practice law in this state and is, at the time of
1-19 election or appointment, a citizen of the United States and of this
1-20 state, and has attained the age of thirty-five years, and has been
1-21 a practicing lawyer, or a lawyer and judge of a court of record
2-1 together at least ten years.
2-2 (c) Said Chief Justice and Justices following appointment
2-3 shall be subject, in the manner provided by law, to retention or
2-4 rejection on a nonpartisan ballot [
elected (three of them each two
2-5 years)] by the qualified voters of the state at a general election;
2-6 and on each appointment and on each successive retention by the
2-7 voters shall hold their offices six years, or until their
2-8 successors are [ elected and] qualified. A Chief Justice or Justice
2-9 who is retained by the voters may be subsequently appointed, if
2-10 otherwise qualified, to the vacancy existing on the completion of
2-11 the person's term.
2-12 (d) The Chief Justice and Justices[ ; and] shall each receive
2-13 such compensation as shall be provided by law. [ In case of a
2-14 vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice or any Justice of the
2-15 Supreme Court, the Governor shall fill the vacancy until the next
2-16 general election for state officers, and at such general election
2-17 the vacancy for the unexpired term shall be filled by election by
2-18 the qualified voters of the state. The Justices of the Supreme
2-19 Court who may be in office at the time this amendment takes effect
2-20 shall continue in office until the expiration of their term of
2-21 office under the present Constitution, and until their successors
2-22 are elected and qualified.]
2-23 Sec. 4. (a) The Court of Criminal Appeals shall consist of
2-24 eight Judges and one Presiding Judge.
2-25 (b) The Judges shall have the same qualifications and
3-1 receive the same salaries as the [ Associate] Justices of the
3-2 Supreme Court, and the Presiding Judge shall have the same
3-3 qualifications and receive the same salary as the Chief Justice of
3-4 the Supreme Court.
3-5 (c) The Presiding Judge and the Judges following appointment
3-6 shall be subject, in the manner provided by law, to retention or
3-7 rejection on a nonpartisan ballot [ elected] by the qualified voters
3-8 of the state at a general election and on each appointment and on
3-9 each successive retention by the voters shall hold their offices
3-10 for a term of six years. A Presiding Judge or Judge who is
3-11 retained by the voters may be subsequently appointed, if otherwise
3-12 qualified, to the vacancy existing on the completion of the
3-13 person's term. [ In case of a vacancy in the office of a Judge of
3-14 the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Governor shall, with the advice
3-15 and consent of the Senate, fill said vacancy by appointment until
3-16 the next succeeding general election.]
3-17 (d) For the purpose of hearing cases, the Court of Criminal
3-18 Appeals may sit in panels of three Judges, the designation thereof
3-19 to be under rules established by the court. In a panel of three
3-20 Judges, two Judges shall constitute a quorum and the concurrence of
3-21 two Judges shall be necessary for a decision. The Presiding Judge,
3-22 under rules established by the court, shall convene the court en
3-23 banc for the transaction of all other business and may convene the
3-24 court en banc for the purpose of hearing cases. The court must sit
3-25 en banc during proceedings involving capital punishment and other
4-1 cases as required by law. When convened en banc, five Judges shall
4-2 constitute a quorum and the concurrence of five Judges shall be
4-3 necessary for a decision. The Court of Criminal Appeals may
4-4 appoint Commissioners in aid of the Court of Criminal Appeals as
4-5 provided by law.
4-6 Sec. 6. (a) The state shall be divided into courts of
4-7 appeals districts, with each district having a Chief Justice, two
4-8 or more other Justices, and such other officials as may be provided
4-9 by law. The Justices shall have the qualifications prescribed for
4-10 Justices of the Supreme Court.
4-11 (b) The Court of Appeals may sit in sections as authorized
4-12 by law. The concurrence of a majority of the Justices [ judges]
4-13 sitting in a section is necessary to decide a case. Said Court of
4-14 Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction co-extensive with the
4-15 limits of their respective districts, which shall extend to all
4-16 cases of which the District Courts or County Courts have original
4-17 or appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations
4-18 as may be prescribed by law. Provided, that the decision of said
4-19 courts shall be conclusive on all questions of fact brought before
4-20 them on appeal or error. Said courts shall have such other
4-21 jurisdiction, original and appellate, as may be prescribed by law.
4-22 (c) Each of said Courts of Appeals shall hold its sessions
4-23 at a place in its district to be designated by the Legislature, and
4-24 at such time as may be prescribed by law.
4-25 (d) Said Chief Justices and Justices following appointment
5-1 shall be subject, in the manner provided by law, to retention or
5-2 rejection on a nonpartisan ballot [ elected] by the qualified voters
5-3 of their respective districts at a general election, and on each
5-4 appointment and on each successive retention by the voters serve
5-5 for a term of six years. A Chief Justice or Justice who is
5-6 retained by the voters may be subsequently appointed, if otherwise
5-7 qualified, to the vacancy existing on the completion of the
5-8 person's term.
5-9 (e) A Chief Justice or Justice [ and] shall receive for the
5-10 Justice's [ their] services the sum provided by law.
5-11 (f) Each Court of Appeals shall appoint a clerk in the same
5-12 manner as the clerk of the Supreme Court which clerk shall receive
5-13 such compensation as may be fixed by law.
5-14 (g) All constitutional and statutory references to the
5-15 Courts of Civil Appeals shall be construed to mean the Courts of
5-17 Sec. 28. (a) [ Vacancies In Offices Of Judges Of Superior
5-18 Courts To Be Filled By The Governor.] Vacancies in the offices
5-19 [ office] of Justices or Judges [ judges] of the Supreme Court, the
5-20 Court of Criminal Appeals, the Courts [ Court] of [ Civil] Appeals,
5-21 and the District Courts shall be filled by the Governor.
5-22 (b) Vacancies in the office of Judge of a District Court
5-23 shall be filled until the next succeeding General Election.
5-24 (c) Vacancies[ ; and vacancies] in the office of County Judge
5-25 and Justices of the Peace shall be filled by the Commissioners
6-1 Court until the next succeeding General Election.
6-2 SECTION 2. The following temporary provision is added to the
6-3 Texas Constitution:
6-4 TEMPORARY PROVISION. (a) This temporary provision applies
6-5 to the constitutional amendment proposed by the 76th Legislature,
6-6 Regular Session, 1999, providing for gubernatorial appointment to
6-7 fill vacancies in the offices of appellate justices and judges, for
6-8 nonpartisan retention elections for those justices and judges, and
6-9 for gubernatorial appointment to fill vacancies in the office of
6-10 district judge in accordance with certain standards.
6-11 (b) The constitutional amendment takes effect January 1,
6-13 (c) This temporary provision expires January 1, 2008.
6-14 SECTION 3. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
6-15 submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 2, 1999.
6-16 The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the
6-17 proposition: "The constitutional amendment providing for the
6-18 governor to fill vacancies in the offices of appellate justices and
6-19 judges, providing for nonpartisan retention elections for those
6-20 justices and judges, and providing for the governor to fill
6-21 vacancies in the office of district judge in accordance with
6-22 certain standards."