Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Article II, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution states that "The powers of the Government of the State of Texas shall be divided into three distinct departments, each of which shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy". This bill would establish a provision that supersedes this constitutional limitation.
Tampering with our state constitution in such a manner is a dangerous precedent to set. There is no current or foreseeable need for the legislature to state that government should be afforded a specific window restricting judges from entering a judgement holding a statute unconstitutional within that window. Our judicial process is one that is meant to hold the other branches of government accountable and is capable of addressing the goal of this bill under current authority.
Invalidating the separation of powers clause in order to authorize the legislature to take a certain act in and of itself would lead a reasonable person to conclude that if not for that invalidation the act would be unconstitutional. This gives the appearance of government protecting itself. This seems to be a bill with a solution in search of a problem.
We also note that at the end of Article II, Section 1 it states "except in the instances herein expressly permitted." If this type of action were authorized under this provision, this bill would be unnecessary and a statute imposing such a timeframe and requirement would be all that is required to implement this proposal.
For these reasons, we oppose SJR 6.