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Govt 2306 ch_2 Govt 2306 ch_2 Presentation Transcript

  • Federalism and the TexasConstitutionsGOVT 2306Chapter 2
  • Federalism Federalism – provides a system of government that allows the states to function with a great deal of independence while a national authority meets the needs of the union of states.  Essentially a compromise between unitary and confederation systems  Both the federal and state governments act on behalf of the people through laws and the actions of elected and appointed governmental officials  Within each government‟s sphere of influence and authority, each is supreme
  • Central GovernmentState Government
  • Why Federalism? Practical Issues  The Framers saw a practical problem – how do we unite the colonies? Liberty-based Argument  Liberty is more secure in small republics  (Eric Oliver) Participation is greatest in small governments, to an extent  States often lead the way regarding civil rights (women‟s suffrage and western states)  However, rights can be curtailed by states (Jim Crow laws in the South from 1880s to 1940s)
  • Why Federalism? Other Arguments  “Farming Out” Authority  The national government can distribute responsibilities to the state/local governments  Additionally, the state and local governments often take the brunt of political dissatisfaction  Geography  Large area and population of some nations make it impractical to locate all political authority and resources in one location  Bringing Government to the People  Federalism brings government closer to the people through direct access to local/state government
  • Why Federalism? Arguments against Federalism  Impeding Progress  Some see federalism as a way for power state/local interests to block progress and impede national plans  Inequity due to lack of oversight  Marked differences state to state in educational spending, crime/crime prevention, and even building safety  Unitary Arguments  President Ronald Reagan argued that federalism has given way to expansion of national powers  “The Founding Fathers saw the federalist system as constructed something like a masonry wall. The States are the bricks, the national government is the mortar…Unfortunately, over the years, many people increasingly come to believe that Washington is the whole wall.”
  • Federalism Think of the U.S. without Federalism  Culturally, we wouldn‟t have states  Regions or localities instead  No state governors or legislatures  No state police  No TABC regulating bars  No state bureaucracy  Want to hunt?  Get a license from the Department of Interior instead of Texas Parks & Wildlife
  • A Life Without Federalism?
  • Distribution of Powers The powers that belong to the states are not equal to those powers residing in the national government. The 10th Amendment provided for a balance  “the powers not delegated by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or the people However, the national supremacy clause in the Constitution clarifies this further  “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land”
  • Distribution of Powers Delegated and Implied Powers  Delegated Powers – specific powers entrusted to the national government by Art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution  Regulates interstate and foreign commerce, borrowing and coining money, declaring war, and levying and collecting taxes, etc.  Implied Powers – Art. I also allows for the national government to make “all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof”  How do you define what is necessary and proper?
  • Distribution of Powers Limitations on the States  Art. I, Sec. 10 of the Constitution limits states‟ powers in numerous areas  Voting rights, due process, equal protection of the laws  Article VI established national supremacy over the states  Case law: Texas v. White (1869) – the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot secede from the Union  The Court ruled that the national Constitution “looks to an indestructible union, composed of indestructible states”  Additionally, state legislatures cannot limit the number of terms for members of the states‟ congressional delegation  Terms can only be limited if authorized by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • Distribution of Powers Limitations on the States  The 14th Amendment’s “Equal Protection” clause forbids states from denying anyone the equal protection of the laws or the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States  The 14th Amendment’s “Due Process” clause stipulates that no state may deprive persons of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law  This clause is also a legal loophole that allows for incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states  For decades, courts were reluctant to apply the liberties spelled out in the Bill of Rights to the states  The shift to incorporation began in 1925 with Gitlow v. New York
  • Incorporating the Bill of Rightsthrough the 14th Amendment Year Issue Amendment Involved Court Case 1925 Freedom of Speech I Gitlow v. New York 1931 Freedom of the press I Near v. Minnesota 1932 Right to a law in capital VI Powell v. Alabama punishment cases 1937 Freedom of assembly I De Jonge v. Oregon 1940 Freedom of religion I Cantwell v. Connecticut 1947 Separation of church and state I Everson v. Board of Education 1948 Right a public trial VI In re Oliver 1949 No unreasonable search and IV Wolf v. Colorado seizures 1961 Exclusionary rule IV Mapp v. Ohio 1962 No cruel and unusual VIII Robinson v. California punishment 1963 Right to a law in all criminal VI Gideon v. Wainwright felony cases 1964 No compulsory self- V Mallory v. Hogan incrimination 1965 Right to privacy I, III, IV, VI, IX Griswold v. Connecticut 1966 Right to an impartial jury VI Parker v. Gladdon 1967 Right to a speedy trial VI Klopfer v. North Carolina 1969 No double jeopardy V Benton v. Maryland 2010 Right to bear arms II McDonald v. Chicago
  • Distribution of Powers Guarantees to the States  Constitutional guarantees  States may be neither divided nor combined with another state without the consent of the state legislatures involved and Congress  Each state is guaranteed a republican form of government  Each state is guaranteed two senators in the U.S. Senate and at least one member in the U.S. House  States participate in presidential elections through the Electoral College  All states participate equally in approving or rejecting proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution  Ratification requires 3/4s vote of the state legislatures or by conventions in called in 3/4s of the states  States are entitled to protection by the U.S. government against invasion and domestic violence  States can still retain militias (National Guard units)  Federal crimes committed in a specific state will be tried by a federal court in the state that the crime was committed
  • Distribution of Powers Interstate Relations and State Immunity  Article IV guarantees that “Citizens of each state shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens of several states”  This means that citizens are guaranteed protection by the government  Enjoyment of life and liberty  Right to acquire and possess property  The right to leave and enter any state  Right to use state courts
  • Distribution of Powers Interstate Relations and State Immunity  Full Faith and Credit Clause  Article IV also states that “full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State.”  This means that the following types of documents must be official recognized and honored in every other states  Legislative enactments  State constitutions  Deeds and wills  Marriage and divorce records  Civil court judgments  However, this clause does not apply to criminal cases
  • Distribution of Powers Interstate Relations and State Immunity  11th Amendment  Offers states limited sovereign immunity including protection for states from being sued by their own citizens, or those of another state, without its consent, and from being sued by state employees for violating federal law.  This assurance is not absolute in all cases  States cannot claim “sovereign immunity” in cases where state employees commit wrongdoing or negligence acting on behalf of the state  Typically, these cases are thrown out and the state employees are sued instead
  • Distribution of Powers Interstate Relations and State Immunity  State Powers  Powers reserved for the states are not defined and are in a constant state of flux  In recent years, more responsibilities have returned to the states  Broad categories of state powers include:  Police Power – protection of the health, morals, safety, and convenience of citizens  Taxing Power – raising revenue to pay state employees and provide for costs of state government  Proprietary Power – provides for public ownership of property such as airports, energy-producing utilities, and parks  Power of Eminent Domain – taking private property for highway construction or other public use at a fair price
  • Federal-State Relations Historically, the national government provided grants to the states in the form of land to finance education  Additionally, land grants for canals, railroads, and roads were also provided In the 20th century, federal grants increased significantly, especially during the Great Depression and New Deal administration Federal grants-in-aid were used to influence state policymaking  As federally initiated programs multiplied, the federal government‟s influence on state policymaking widened With these grants came an increasing number of restrictions and regulations placed on the states by the federal government
  • Federal-State Relations Strings Attached to Federal Grants  All funding from the federal government comes with requirements that must be met by the states  1980s: Increased funding for states that would comply with a federal minimum drinking age  2000s: No Child Left Behind (NCLB); funds delivered to state/local education only if schools were held completely accountable for students‟ grades on standardized tests  2009-2010: Bailout funding for states only if they would comply with the president‟s domestic agenda
  • Rise in Federal Transfers to State and Local Governments Year20151050 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
  • Federal-State Relations Block Grants  Federal programs that provide funds to state and local governments for broad functional areas, such as criminal justice, state welfare, or mental-health programs  Governors and mayors generally prefer block grants due to the increased flexibility regarding how the funds are spent  Lessen the restrictions on federal grants given to state or local governments by grouping a number of categorical grants under one broad heading
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas Coahuila y Tejas Constitution of 1827  The state constitution for the combined state of Coahuila and Texas.  The 1824 Constitution of the United Mexican States provided that each state should have a constitution  The constitution divided the state into three districts; Texas only had one, Bexar.  Important aspects:  The Catholic religion was made the state religion  Citizens were guaranteed liberty, security, property, and equality  Slavery was forbidden (amended 3 years after the fact)  The military and ecclesiastical authority were subject to their own laws  Divided the state government into three branches  Executive, Legislative, and Judicial  The Constitution and laws were only published in Spanish  A reason for the push toward revolution
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas Proposed Constitution of 1833  Misgovernment in Texas and the conservative takeover in Mexico led Texans to call the Convention of 1833  Framed a state constitution that was submitted to the Mexican Congress for approval  The constitution was very Anglo in political theory  Based off the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780  Important aspects:  State was to be divided into 10 electoral districts  Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches  Governor‟s veto could be passed over by a simple majority in the bicameral legislature  Officials were to be elected directly  A bill of rights with 27 articles  Stephen F. Austin took the proposed constitution to Mexico and was thrown in prison as a result  A chief reason Austin promoted revolution after returning to Texas
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836  First Anglo constitution to govern Texas  Drafted on 1 Mar. 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and ratified by a simple vote of the people in Sept. 1836  The document was completed in haste due to ever-present threat of Mexican attack  Sections of the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions were used  Familiar language of these founding U.S. documents were preserved to make comprehension easier  A very brief document totaling just under 6,500 words  Important aspects:  Short preamble  Separation of powers into three branches  Executive, legislative, and judicial  Checks and balances
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836  Important aspects:  Slavery was allowed  Citizenship universal, with “Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted”  A Bill of Rights  Male suffrage  Legislative Branch  Bicameral – House and Senate  Executive Branch  Resembled the American Presidency  Judicial Branch  Four-tiered system – justice, county, district, and supreme courts  District courts were the most important (and had the largest caseload)
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836  Jacksonian ideals in the Constitution  Ministers and priests were forbidden from holding office  Imprisonment for debt was abolished  Monopolies were prohibited  Terms of office were short and annual elections were required  Spanish-Mexican law  Community property, homestead exemptions and protections, and debtors‟ relief  Land provisions and protection were paramount  Even though the Constitution of 1836 was a revolutionary document written in haste, it was a product of the social and economic conditions of the time  As well as the constitutional and legal heritage of Texas, the southern and western states, and the United States
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Statehood Constitution of 1845  After Texas was offered statehood in the United States, it was required to compose a new constitution  The constitutional framers drew heavily on the new Constitution of Louisiana and the constitution drawn by the Tejas Convention of 1833  The Republic Constitution of 1836 was used as a working model for a general plan of government and a bill of rights  Legislature  Senate – 19 to 33 members; elected every 4 yrs.; ½ chosen biennially; min. age of 30  House – 45 to 90 members; elected every 2 yrs.; min. age of 21  Austin was made the capitol until 1850 when a general election would be held  Census ordered every 8 years  Regular congressional sessions were biennial  Ministers of the Gospel were ineligible to be legislators
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Statehood Constitution of 1845  Executive  Term – 2 years  Required to be a citizen and resident of Texas at least 3 years before election; must be 30 years old  Had the power to appoint the attorney general, secretary of state, and supreme/district court judges  Could convene the legislator and adjourn it in case of disagreement between the two houses  Commander-in-chief of the militia  Could grant pardons and reprieves  His veto could be overruled by 2/3 vote in both houses
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Statehood Constitution of 1845  Judicial  Consisted of a Supreme Court, district court, and inferior courts  Judges of higher courts appointed by the governor to 6 year terms  District attorneys for each district were elected by joint vote of both houses to serve for 2 years  County officers were elected for 2 years by popular vote  County sheriffs were not eligible to serve more than 4 of any 6 years  Trial by jury was extended to cases in civil and criminal law  Noteworthy Aspects  Article VII – General Provisions is the longest at 37 sections that primarily listed limitations on the legislature  Any citizen who participated in a duel could not be a legislator  State debt limited to $100,000 (with exceptions for national/state emergency)  Recognized the separate ownership of property by married women
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Statehood Constitution of 1845  Amendment Process  An amendment could be proposed by a 2/3s vote of each house  If a majority of voters approved the amendment and 2/3s of both houses ratified it, the measure became a part of the constitution  Only one amendment was ever made (1850)  Though numerous U.S. politicians opposed the annexation of Texas, the statehood constitution was very popular during the time  Daniel Webster (northern politician that opposed annexation) remarked that the Texas constitution was the best of all the state constitutions
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Secession Constitution of 1861  Secession from the Union was ratified on 23 Feb. 1861  Essentially, the Secession Convention amended the Constitution of 1845 to accommodate changes from the United States to the Confederate States of America  In most instances, the wording and phrasing of the Constitution of 1845 were kept intact  Changes  United States of America changed with Confederate States of America  Slavery and states‟ rights were more directly defended  Clause providing for methods of slave emancipation was eliminated  Freeing of slaves declared illegal  State officials were required to take an oath of loyalty to the CSA  All existing laws not in conflict with the constitutions of Texas or the CSA were declared valid
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Secession Constitution of 1861  The constitution was remarkable for its moderate tone compared to other secessionist constitutions  It did not legalize the resumption of the African slave trade  It did not take an extreme position on states‟ rights  It did not substantially change important law or do away with preexisting case law  Overall, it was a fairly conservative document designed in part to allay fears of the radical departure of Texas from the U.S. and to ease the transition of Texas to the CSA
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Presidential Reconstruction Constitution of 1866  The Constitutional Convention of 1866, in compliance with presidential Reconstruction efforts, were required to fundamentally alter and amend Texas‟ constitution  President Andrew Johnson appointed provisional governor James W. Throckmorton to call the convention  The new constitution protected the personal property of freedmen in Texas, but it did not permit voting rights, the ability to hold public office, or the ability to serve as jurors  Notable amendments  Governor‟s term of office increased to 4 years  Could convene the legislature in places other than Austin if the capital became dangerous “by reasons of disease or the public enemy”  Censuses were to be held every 10 years  Supreme Court was increased from 3 to 5 justices with a term of 10 years
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Presidential Reconstruction Constitution of 1866  Notable amendments  A ¾ majority of each house was required to call a convention to propose changes in the constitution  The approval of the governor was also required  Elaborate plans for internal improvements and public education were stipulated  Land set aside for the support of public schools and establishment and endowment of a university  Separate schools were ordered for black children  Legislature was empowered to levy a school tax
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Congressional Reconstruction Constitution of 1869  The Constitutional Convention of 1868-69 was called in compliance with the Congressional Reconstruction Acts of 1867  The convention broke up without completing a constitution  Its work was gathered by U.S. military officials, published, and accepted by the people  Radical Republics that took over the U.S. Congress actively sought to punish secessionist states for their participation in the Civil War  Historically, this constitution is seen as the most unsatisfactory in the state‟s history  Democrats charged Governor E.J. Davis with corruption due animosity originating from this constitution
  • Historical ConstitutionalDevelopment in Texas The Congressional Reconstruction Constitution of 1869  Notable changes:  Annual sessions of the legislature  4 year term for the governor and other executive offices  Judges appointed by the governor (instead of popular election)  Abolished county courts  Raised the salaries of government officials  Overall, these changes centralized governmental power in Austin and greatly weakened local government  However, positive aspects were:  Establishment of a common school system  Centralized law enforcement (early form of the Texas DPS)  Broader civil rights (yet poll taxes were enacted)
  • Drafting the Constitution of 1876 Constitutional Convention of 1875  75 Democrats and 15 Republicans; 6 African Americans  Only 83 attended the convention  A majority of the attendees were not native Texans  More than 40% were members of the Texas Grange movement  Wanted to strictly limit government spending and limit governmental powers  No official record exists of the convention‟s proceedings  No stenographer was hired to save money
  • Drafting the Constitution of 1876 Dismantling the Davis (Republican) Administration  Delegates sought to restrict the powers of the three branches of government  Reduced governor‟s salary, powers and term (4 to 2 yrs.)  Made all executive offices elective for 2 year terms  Allowed for biennial legislative sessions only  Greatly limited legislative power  No “Necessary and Proper” clause  Public services were greatly restricted  Delegates wanted to limit public debt and curb the legislature‟s taxing and spending powers ($200,000 debt ceiling)  Reinstated racially segregated public education and repealed the compulsory school attendance law  Only taxpayers could vote on local bond issues Approved 53 to 11 in Nov. 1875
  • Drafting the Constitution of 1876 Distrust of Government and its Consequences  The framers sought to limit policymaking by placing numerous restrictions in the state‟s fundamental law  The general consensus of the time held that state governments could only exercise those powers listed in the state constitution  Instead of being permitted to exercise powers not expressly denied by the U.S. Constitution, Texas lawmakers are limited to powers expressly spelled out in the state‟s constitution  As a result, the Texas Governor‟s Office is one of the weakest state executive offices in the nation
  • The Constitution of 1876 Today Issues  Excessive Length  At 93,000 words, the length discourages its publication  It is only available at the Secretary of State‟s office and on the internet  Wording and Structural Issues  The document is in structural disarray due to the limited nature of the document that requires constant amendment (467 as of 2009)  The wording is confusing and full of legal terms, making it difficult for a majority of the population to comprehend  Policy Changes  The state‟s policymaking powers are expressly enumerated in the constitution  This means changes in policymaking must be made by constitutional amendment
  • Constitutional Amendment andRevision The Constitutional Amendment Process  Article VXII, Sec. 1 of the Texas Constitution stipulates that an amendment must:  Be proposed by a 2/3s vote of members in each chamber of the legislature  Approved by a simple majority of voters in a general or special election  Historically, voter turnout in these elections is very low, particularly in off-year elections  18% in 2005 for an amendment to ban same-sex marriage (controversial case); 8.1% in 2009  The governor, who has no veto power in the process, proclaims the amendment after it is passed
  • Constitutional Amendment andRevision Initiative  Unlike voters in other states, Texas does not exercise the power of initiative at the state level  A process whereby individuals or groups may gather signatures required for submitting a proposed constitutional amendment or statute to a popular vote  Adds a level of direct democracy to our republican form of government  18 states have some form of initiative  This process is used on a limited basis under some local governments in Texas  Special interest groups have offered considerable support for the initiative in Texas  However, the legislature has not and is not anticipated to act on it  The process is criticized for the potential influence of big money and potentially threatening the rights of electoral minorities
  • Constitutional Amendment andRevision Constitutional Revision  An extensive effort at constitutional reform was initiated by the Legislature in 1971.  Almost all of the Texas Constitution could be changed or deleted  Only Article I, the Bill of Rights could not be altered  Constitutional Revision Committee  Members were appointed to draft a new constitution and submit it to the Legislature  During this process in 1971, the Legislature was sitting as a constitutional convention  Legislative Constitutional Convention  Battles over controversial issues and a lack of positive leadership doomed the efforts of 1971  Failures to reach an agreement over the issue of the right-to-work status was the deathblow for the revision  In 1975, voters overwhelmingly defeated the revision effort
  • Constitutional Amendment andRevision Other Revision Attempts  Revised constitutional drafts were prepared in 1995 and 1998, but neither received serious legislative consideration  Several portions of the rejected revision proposals have been added to the existing constitution through the amendment process  To modernize the existing constitution, one constitutional amendment adopted in 1999 authorized the elimination of certain “duplicative, executed, obsolete, archaic and ineffective provisions of the Texas Constitution.”  An earlier effort was carried out in 1969  Article XIII, Spanish and Mexican Land Titles has been eliminated  Article XIV, Public Lands and Land Office has almost been completely eliminated
  •  THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION ARTICLE 14. PUBLIC LANDS AND LAND OFFICE Sec.1.GENERAL LAND OFFICE. There shall be one General Land Office in the State, which shall be at the seat of government, where all land titles which have emanated or may hereafter emanate from the State shall be registered, except those titles the registration of which may be prohibited by this Constitution. It shall be the duty of the Legislature at the earliest practicable time to make the Land Office self sustaining, and from time to time the Legislature may establish such subordinate offices as may be deemed necessary. Sec.2.(Repealed Aug. 5, 1969.) Sec.3.(Repealed Aug. 5, 1969.) Sec.4.(Repealed Aug. 5, 1969.) Sec.5.(Repealed Aug. 5, 1969.) Sec.6.(Repealed Aug. 5, 1969.) Sec.7.(Repealed Aug. 5, 1969.)
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article I, The Bill of Rights Article II, The Powers of Government Article III, Legislative Department Article IV, Executive Department Article V, Judicial Department Article VI, Suffrage Article VII, Education Article VIII, Taxation and Revenue Article IX, Counties Article X, Railroads
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article XI, Municipal Corporations Article XII, Private Corporations Article XIII, Spanish and Mexican Land Titles (Repealed) Article XIV, Public Lands and Land Office (almost gone) Article XV, Impeachment Article XVI, General Provisions Article XVII, Mode of Amending the Constitution of this State Appendix
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article XI, Municipal Corporations Article XII, Private Corporations Article XIII, Spanish and Mexican Land Titles (Repealed) Article XIV, Public Lands and Land Office (almost gone) Article XV, Impeachment Article XVI, General Provisions Article XVII, Mode of Amending the Constitution of this State Appendix http://www.constitution.legis,
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article I, The Bill of Rights  Basic rights protected by both the national and state constitutions  Has 30 sections and numerous overlaps with the federal Bill of Rights  However, it includes equal rights provisions for women and the rights of crime victims  Arbitrary Government Action  11 of Article I‟s sections provide protections for people and property against arbitrary government actions  Guarantees freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article I, The Bill of Rights  Criminals and Victims  13 sections relating to the rights of persons accused of crimes and to the rights of individuals who have been convicted of crimes  An additional set of rights were added in 1989 to address the rights of crime victims  Equal Right for Women  The Texas Equal Legal Rights Amendment (ELRA) was added to Art. 1, Sec. 3 in 1972  “Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed or national origin”  A byproduct of the national Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article I, The Bill of Rights  Additional Protections  Prohibitions against imprisonment for debt, outlawry (legally placing a convicted criminal outside the protection of the law), or transportation (punishment by banishing a convicted criminal from the state)  Philosophical Observations  3 sections contain philosophical observations without the direct force of law  “Texas is a free and independent state, subject only to the Constitution of the United States”  All political power resides with the people and is legitimately exercised only on their behalf  The people may at any time “alter, reform, or abolish the government”  “Everything in this „Bill of Rights‟ is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate.”
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article II, The Powers of Government  The doctrine of separation of powers in government is accepted Article III, Legislative Department  Excessive detail limits the power of the legislature  More than 60 sections providing examples of how amendments have directly affected and restricted the legislature over time Article IV, Executive Department  The governor shares power with 4 other elected officials  Lieutenant Gov., Attorney General, Comptroller of Public Accounts, and the Commission of the General Land Office  Again, excessive detail greatly limits the constitutional power of the governor Article V, Judicial Department  Excessive technical and legal verbiage  Texas is the only state other than Oklahoma to have two courts of final appeal
  • The Texas Constitution: ASummary Article VI, Suffrage  One of the shortest articles  Greatly altered over time as the federal government has restricted state power in this area  Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 prompted the abolition of poll taxes, property qualifications, and literacy tests Article IX, Counties  Pertains primarily to local government as counties are spread throughout the constitution  A good example of the disorder within the constitution  Authorizes “counties, municipalities, school districts, and other special districts” as units of local government