The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued seven opinions from April 24-30. The Texas Supreme Court issued five opinions from April 24-30. Both courts are the state’s courts of last resort. As of April 30, the court of criminal appeals issued 125 opinions in 2023 — 31 more than this point a year ago. The supreme court issued 46 opinions as of April 30, 2023 — five fewer than this point a year ago. Three of the 12 opinions are below:
- Massey v. Texas, where the court reversed the appeals court and upheld a trial court’s decision that denied a defendant’s motion to suppress the discovery of methamphetamine found by an officer after the defendant was tased and handcuffed when he forcefully resisted an investigative pat-down search.
- DAY, TYRONE Appeal from Criminal District Court 5 of Dallas County, where the court agreed with the state of Texas and the trial court that the defendant is “entitled to relief based on scientific evidence not available at the time of his initial plea and that his plea was involuntary.”
- Apache Corp. Apollo Exploration, LLC, where the court “reversed the judgment of the court of appeals in this contract dispute, holding that the court of appeals erred by failing to apply a common-law default rule to the parties’ dispute involving the sale of working interests in 109 oil-and-gas leases.”
From April 24-30, state supreme courts issued 172 opinions nationally. The West Virginia Supreme Court issued the most with 36. State supreme courts in 14 states issued the fewest with zero. Courts where judges are elected have issued 109 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 63.
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 2,201 opinions in 2023. Courts where judges are elected have issued 1,224 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 977. Texas is a Republican trifecta, meaning Republicans control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.