1-1 By: Duncan, Ellis S.J.R. No. 9
1-2 (In the Senate - Filed November 16, 1998; February 1, 1999,
1-3 read first time and referred to Committee on Jurisprudence;
1-4 February 24, 1999, reported adversely, with favorable Committee
1-5 Substitute by the following vote: Yeas 3, Nays 1;
1-6 February 24, 1999, sent to printer.)
1-7 COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.J.R. No. 9 By: Ellis
1-8 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION
1-9 proposing a constitutional amendment providing for gubernatorial
1-10 appointment to fill vacancies in the offices of appellate justices
1-11 and judges and for nonpartisan retention elections for those
1-12 justices and judges.
1-13 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-14 SECTION 1. Sections 2, 4, 6, and 28, Article V, Texas
1-15 Constitution, are amended to read as follows:
1-16 Sec. 2. (a) The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief
1-17 Justice and eight Justices, any five of whom shall constitute a
1-18 quorum, and the concurrence of five shall be necessary to a
1-19 decision of a case; provided, that when the business of the court
1-20 may require, the court may sit in sections as designated by the
1-21 court to hear argument of causes and to consider applications for
1-22 writs of error or other preliminary matters.
1-23 (b) No person shall be eligible to serve in the office of
1-24 Chief Justice or Justice of the Supreme Court unless the person is
1-25 licensed to practice law in this state and is, at the time of
1-26 election or appointment, a citizen of the United States and of this
1-27 state, and has attained the age of thirty-five years, and has been
1-28 a practicing lawyer, or a lawyer and judge of a court of record
1-29 together at least ten years.
1-30 (c) Said Chief Justice and Justices following the appointed
1-31 term shall be subject, in the manner provided by law, to retention
1-32 or rejection on a nonpartisan ballot [
elected (three of them each
1-33 two years)] by the qualified voters of the state at a general
1-34 election; and on each successive retention by the voters shall hold
1-35 their offices six years, or until their successors are [ elected
1-36 and] qualified. On appointment to a vacancy, a Chief Justice or
1-37 Justice serves an initial term that ends January 1 of the third
1-38 odd-numbered year that occurs after the Chief Justice or Justice
1-39 takes the oath of office.
1-40 (d) The Chief Justice and Justices[ ; and] shall each receive
1-41 such compensation as shall be provided by law. [ In case of a
1-42 vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice or any Justice of the
1-43 Supreme Court, the Governor shall fill the vacancy until the next
1-44 general election for state officers, and at such general election
1-45 the vacancy for the unexpired term shall be filled by election by
1-46 the qualified voters of the state. The Justices of the Supreme
1-47 Court who may be in office at the time this amendment takes effect
1-48 shall continue in office until the expiration of their term of
1-49 office under the present Constitution, and until their successors
1-50 are elected and qualified.]
1-51 Sec. 4. (a) The Court of Criminal Appeals shall consist of
1-52 eight Judges and one Presiding Judge.
1-53 (b) The Judges shall have the same qualifications and
1-54 receive the same salaries as the [ Associate] Justices of the
1-55 Supreme Court, and the Presiding Judge shall have the same
1-56 qualifications and receive the same salary as the Chief Justice of
1-57 the Supreme Court.
1-58 (c) The Presiding Judge and the Judges following the
1-59 appointed term shall be subject, in the manner provided by law, to
1-60 retention or rejection on a nonpartisan ballot [ elected] by the
1-61 qualified voters of the state at a general election and on each
1-62 successive retention by the voters shall hold their offices for a
1-63 term of six years. On appointment to a vacancy, a Presiding Judge
1-64 or Judge serves an initial term that ends January 1 of the third
2-1 odd-numbered year that occurs after the Presiding Judge or Judge
2-2 takes the oath of office. [ In case of a vacancy in the office of a
2-3 Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Governor shall, with
2-4 the advice and consent of the Senate, fill said vacancy by
2-5 appointment until the next succeeding general election.]
2-6 (d) For the purpose of hearing cases, the Court of Criminal
2-7 Appeals may sit in panels of three Judges, the designation thereof
2-8 to be under rules established by the court. In a panel of three
2-9 Judges, two Judges shall constitute a quorum and the concurrence of
2-10 two Judges shall be necessary for a decision. The Presiding Judge,
2-11 under rules established by the court, shall convene the court en
2-12 banc for the transaction of all other business and may convene the
2-13 court en banc for the purpose of hearing cases. The court must sit
2-14 en banc during proceedings involving capital punishment and other
2-15 cases as required by law. When convened en banc, five Judges shall
2-16 constitute a quorum and the concurrence of five Judges shall be
2-17 necessary for a decision. The Court of Criminal Appeals may
2-18 appoint Commissioners in aid of the Court of Criminal Appeals as
2-19 provided by law.
2-20 Sec. 6. (a) The state shall be divided into courts of
2-21 appeals districts, with each district having a Chief Justice, two
2-22 or more other Justices, and such other officials as may be provided
2-23 by law. The Justices shall have the qualifications prescribed for
2-24 Justices of the Supreme Court.
2-25 (b) The Court of Appeals may sit in sections as authorized
2-26 by law. The concurrence of a majority of the Justices [ judges]
2-27 sitting in a section is necessary to decide a case. Said Court of
2-28 Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction co-extensive with the
2-29 limits of their respective districts, which shall extend to all
2-30 cases of which the District Courts or County Courts have original
2-31 or appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations
2-32 as may be prescribed by law. Provided, that the decision of said
2-33 courts shall be conclusive on all questions of fact brought before
2-34 them on appeal or error. Said courts shall have such other
2-35 jurisdiction, original and appellate, as may be prescribed by law.
2-36 (c) Each of said Courts of Appeals shall hold its sessions
2-37 at a place in its district to be designated by the Legislature, and
2-38 at such time as may be prescribed by law.
2-39 (d) Said Chief Justices and Justices following the appointed
2-40 term shall be subject, in the manner provided by law, to retention
2-41 or rejection on a nonpartisan ballot [ elected] by the qualified
2-42 voters of their respective districts at a general election, and on
2-43 each successive retention by the voters serve for a term of six
2-44 years. On appointment to a vacancy, a Chief Justice or Justice
2-45 serves an initial term that ends January 1 of the third
2-46 odd-numbered year that occurs after the Chief Justice or Justice
2-47 takes the oath of office.
2-48 (e) A Chief Justice or Justice [ and] shall receive for the
2-49 Justice's [ their] services the sum provided by law.
2-50 (f) Each Court of Appeals shall appoint a clerk in the same
2-51 manner as the clerk of the Supreme Court which clerk shall receive
2-52 such compensation as may be fixed by law.
2-53 (g) All constitutional and statutory references to the
2-54 Courts of Civil Appeals shall be construed to mean the Courts of
2-56 Sec. 28. (a) [ Vacancies In Offices Of Judges Of Superior
2-57 Courts To Be Filled By The Governor.] Vacancies in the offices
2-58 [ office] of Justices or Judges [ judges] of the Supreme Court, the
2-59 Court of Criminal Appeals, the Courts [ Court] of [ Civil] Appeals,
2-60 and the District Courts shall be filled by the Governor.
2-61 (b) Vacancies in the office of Judge of a District Court
2-62 shall be filled until the next succeeding General Election.
2-63 (c) Vacancies[ ; and vacancies] in the office of County Judge
2-64 and Justices of the Peace shall be filled by the Commissioners
2-65 Court until the next succeeding General Election.
2-66 SECTION 2. The following temporary provision is added to the
2-67 Texas Constitution:
2-68 TEMPORARY PROVISION. (a) This temporary provision applies
2-69 to the constitutional amendment proposed by the 76th Legislature,
3-1 Regular Session, 1999, providing for gubernatorial appointment to
3-2 fill vacancies in the offices of appellate justices and judges and
3-3 for nonpartisan retention elections for those justices and judges.
3-4 (b) The constitutional amendment takes effect January 1,
3-6 (c) This temporary provision expires January 1, 2008.
3-7 SECTION 3. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
3-8 submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 2, 1999.
3-9 The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the
3-10 proposition: "The constitutional amendment providing for the
3-11 governor to fill vacancies in the offices of appellate justices and
3-12 judges and providing for nonpartisan retention elections for those
3-13 justices and judges."
3-14 * * * * *