The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued 14 opinions from March 27-April 2. The Texas Supreme Court issued five opinions from March 27-April 2. Both courts are the state’s courts of last resort. As of April 2, the court of criminal appeals issued 89 opinions in 2023 — 20 more than this point a year ago. The supreme court issued 29 opinions as of April 2, 2023 — seven fewer than this point a year ago. Three of 19 opinions are below:
- Ruffins v. Texas (original by judge mcclure iii), where the court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment that the trial court had erred by telling the jury that it had to find an “accomplice in fact to be an accomplice beyond a reasonable doubt.”
- Hartzell v. S.O. (Opinion), where the court held that university officials have the authority to revoke degrees of former students who committed academic misconduct while enrolled at the university.
- Fortenberry v. Great Divide Insurance Co. (Opinion), where the court reversed the court of appeals and held that the petitioner, an offensive lineman training with the Dallas Cowboys, resided in Dallas County at the time of his injury. His workers’ compensation benefits suit should, therefore, be heard in Dallas County.
From March 27-April 2, state supreme courts issued 131 opinions nationally. The North Dakota Supreme Court issued the most with 17. State supreme courts in 18 states issued the fewest with zero. Courts where judges are elected have issued 82 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 49.
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 7,423 opinions in 2022 and 8,320 in 2021. The courts have issued 1,640 opinions in 2023. Courts where judges are elected have issued 904 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 736. Texas is a Republican trifecta, meaning Republicans control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.