84(R) - 2015
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
Civil Procedure
Civil Remedies
State Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Judith Zaffirini

Bill Caption

Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated, other than the cost of publication. The cost to the state for publication of the resolution is $118,681.

The joint resolution would amend the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature to require state courts to provide notice of constitutional challenges of state statutes to the Office of the Attorney General and prescribe a waiting period before state courts may issue a judgment on the statutes constitutionality. The proposed constitutional amendment would be submitted to voters at an election to be held November 3, 2015. 

Bill Analysis

The fiscal note adequately and accurately describes SJR 8. The author's statement of intent offers helpful background information:

"The Government Code currently provides that, in an action in which a party to the litigation challenges the constitutionality of a Texas statute, the court shall serve notice to the attorney general and that the court may not enter a final judgment holding the statute unconstitutional before the 45th day after the notice is served. This straightforward provision, patterned after an uncontroversial federal law and similar to laws in 14 other states, was passed by the legislature in 2011 without a single no vote. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, however, recently held that this provision violates Article II, Section 1, of the Texas Constitution, the separation-of-powers clause.

This joint resolution would amend the Texas Constitution to make clear that the attorney general notice provision does not violate the separation of powers provision. This ensures that laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature could not be struck down by a judge without the State— through its attorney general—having the opportunity to appear and defend the constitutionality of those enactments."

Vote Recommendation Notes

5/24/2015 update:

No changes were made in House committee. 

First chamber recommendation below:

This joint resolution merely fixes a constitutional problem that is mostly clerical concerning previous legislation adopted by the Texas Legislature. This resolution does has no discernible connection to our liberty principles, therefore we are neutral.