Bill Text: TX SJR47 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Engrossed


Bill Title: Proposing a constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for certain judicial offices.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-05-08 - Reported favorably w/o amendment(s) [SJR47 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SJR47-Engrossed.html
 
 
  By: Huffman, et al. S.J.R. No. 47
 
 
 
  proposing a constitutional amendment changing the eligibility
  requirements for certain judicial offices.
         BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 2(b), Article V, Texas Constitution, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  No person shall be eligible to serve in the office of
  Chief Justice or Justice of the Supreme Court unless the person:
               (1)  is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas;
               (2)  [this state and] is, at the time of election, a
  citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of Texas;
               (3)  [this state, and] has attained the age of
  thirty-five years;
               (4)  [, and] has been either:
                     (A)  a practicing lawyer licensed in the State of
  Texas for at least ten years;[,] or
                     (B) a practicing lawyer licensed in the State of
  Texas and judge of a state court or county court established by the
  Legislature by statute for a combined total of [court of record
  together] at least ten years; and
               (5)  during the time required by Subdivision (4) of
  this subsection has not had the person's license to practice law
  revoked, suspended, or subject to a probated suspension.
         SECTION 2.  Section 7, Article V, Texas Constitution, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 7.  (a)  The State shall be divided into judicial
  districts, with each district having one or more Judges as may be
  provided by law or by this Constitution.
         (b)  Each district judge shall be elected by the qualified
  voters at a General Election.  To be eligible for appointment or
  election as a district judge, a person must:
               (1)  [and shall] be a citizen of the United States and a
  resident of this State;
               (2)  be[, who is] licensed to practice law in this
  State;
               (3)  have [and has] been a practicing lawyer or a Judge
  of a Court in this State, or both combined, for eight [four (4)]
  years next preceding the judge's [his] election, during which time
  the judge's license to practice law has not been revoked,
  suspended, or subject to a probated suspension;
               (4)  have [who has] resided in the district in which the
  judge [he] was elected for two [(2)] years next preceding the [his]
  election;[,] and
               (5)  [who shall] reside in the [his] district during
  the judge's [his] term of office.
         (c)  A district judge shall [and] hold the [his] office for
  the term [period] of four [(4)] years[,] and [who] shall receive for
  the judge's [his] services an annual salary to be fixed by the
  Legislature.
         (d)  A District [The] Court shall conduct its proceedings at
  the county seat of the county in which the case is pending, except
  as otherwise provided by law. The Court [He] shall hold the regular
  terms [of his Court] at the County Seat of each County in the
  Court's [his] district in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
  The Legislature shall have power by General or Special Laws to make
  such provisions concerning the terms or sessions of each District 
  Court as it may deem necessary.
         (e)  The Legislature shall also provide for the holding of
  District Court when the Judge thereof is absent, or is from any
  cause disabled or disqualified from presiding.
         SECTION 3.  The following temporary provision is added to
  the Texas Constitution:
         TEMPORARY PROVISION. (a) This temporary provision applies
  to the constitutional amendment proposed by the 87th Legislature,
  Regular Session, 2021, changing the eligibility requirements for a
  justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal
  appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.
         (b)  The amendment to Section 2(b), Article V, of this
  constitution takes effect January 1, 2022, and applies only to a
  chief justice or other justice of the supreme court, a presiding
  judge or other judge of the court of criminal appeals, or a chief
  justice or other justice of a court of appeals who is first elected
  for a term that begins on or after January 1, 2025, or who is
  appointed on or after that date.
         (c)  The amendment to Section 7, Article V, of this
  constitution takes effect January 1, 2022, and applies only to a
  district judge who is first elected for a term that begins on or
  after January 1, 2025, or who is appointed on or after that date.
         (d)  This temporary provision expires January 1, 2026.
         SECTION 4.  This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
  submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 2, 2021.
  The ballot shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the
  proposition: "The constitutional amendment changing the
  eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a
  judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of
  appeals, and a district judge."
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