The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued nine opinions from March 6-12. The Texas Supreme Court issued three opinions from March 6-12. Both courts are the state’s courts of last resort. As of March 12, the court of criminal appeals issued 75 opinions in 2023—25 more than this point a year ago. The supreme court issued 18 opinions as of March 12, 2023—nine fewer than this point a year ago. Three of the 12 opinions are highlighted below:
- Rattray v. City of Brownsville (Opinion), where the court reversed the court of appeals’ decision to direct the trial court to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction a lawsuit from homeowners suing the City of Brownsville for property damage.
- Igboji v. Texas (original by judge newell), where the court remanded the case to the court of appeals “to reconsider whether exigent circumstances existed to justify the warrantless seizure of the appellant’s cell phone, and whether the officer’s conduct in seizing the property to obtain a warrant was reasonable under those circumstances.”
- Devon Energy Production Co., L.P. v. Sheppard (Opinion), where the court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of landowners in an oil-and-gas dispute over the calculation of royalty under the terms of a mineral lease with producers.
From March 6-12, state supreme courts issued 186 opinions nationally. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued the most with 41. The court leads in number of opinions issued because it publishes concurring and dissenting opinions separately, and when deciding whether a case can be appealed, the court logs these decisions as standalone, typically single-page, orders. State supreme courts in 16 states issued the fewest with zero. Courts where judges are elected have issued 120 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 66.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court are the state’s courts of last resort. The former is the state’s court of last resort for criminal matters, while the latter is the state’s court of last resort for civil matters; both have nine judgeships. Sharon Keller and Nathan Hecht are the current chiefs of the criminal and supreme courts, respectively. Combined, the courts issued 413 opinions in 2022 and 536 in 2021. Nationally, state supreme courts issued 9,243 opinions in 2022 and 10,133 in 2021.The courts have issued 1,548 opinions in 2023. Courts where judges are elected have issued 985 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 563. Texas is a Republican trifecta, meaning Republicans control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.