Supreme Court of Texas
Election (Partisan)
9 Justices
6 year terms
State High Court Judicial Selection Process Legal Authority

  • In a partisan primary election, the candidate who receives a majority of the votes is placed on the ballot for the general election.
  • If no one receives a majority, there is a run-off primary election.
  • The candidate who receives the highest number of votes in the general election is appointed to the Texas Supreme Court.

Interim Vacancies

  • A vacancy in the office of Chief Justice, Justice, or Judge of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Appeals, or the District Courts shall be filled by the Governor until the next succeeding General Election for state officers, and at that election the voters shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

    Docket Watch

  • Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Private-Property Owners in Case on Public Access to Beaches

    In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in Severance v. Paterson1 that the rights of private-property owners trump the public’s right to access beaches on private property. The court held 5-3 that when an act of nature “suddenly and dramatically” pushes back the vegetation line on a beach, the public easement that state law creates on beaches does not move along with it.2 In other words, while easements may change gradually, an avulsion3 does not entitle the state to a drastic expansion of its claim over existing private property.4 This article will describe the background and decision in Severance and examine how this case fits in with coastal-property jurisprudence.

  • State Court Challenges to Legislatively Enacted Tort Reforms

    Over the past three decades, proponents of civil liability reform have made significant gains.1 Propelled by significant electoral gains in the 2010 cycle, it appears that the trend will continue this year, with 21 states so far enacting civil liability legislation.

  • Judicial Election

    Judges are elected by popular vote.
  • Democratic Appointment

    Judges are appointed directly by a democratic body, or appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of some democratic body.