Study Shows Texas Supreme Court Is Activist & Ideological
I’m not sure how I missed this, but last January, Texas Watch, a non-partisan watchdog organization, released a decade-long study about cases before the Texas Supreme Court. The study found the following:
Corporate and government defendants prevail in an average of 74% of cases annually.
Consumers have lost 79% of cases in which they were pitted against a corporate or government defendant.
These findings lead Court Watch to conclude: “The Texas Supreme Court has become a reliable friend to those who seek to escape the consequences of their actions; its justices are the ultimate guardians for the moneyed and powerful who wish to shirk responsibility.”
The report focuses on the decade beginning in 2000 because it reflects a paradigm shift. In 2000, Rick Perry became governor. His appointees to the Court have taken it in a decidedly activist and ideological turn.
Justices appointed to the Court by Governor Rick Perry have sided with consumers an average of just 29% of the time.
Despite a constitutional provision limiting its jurisdiction to questions of law – not fact – the Court has routinely overturned decisions made by local juries. Even Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson admonished the Court in a 2004 dissenting opinion, writing: “This Court is constitutionally bound to conduct only a legal – not factual – sufficiency review.”
Texas Supreme Court has overturned local jury decisions in consumer cases an average of 74% of the time since 2004.
Court Watch writes that “The jury is our smallest, most direct, and least corrupted form of government. … However, the Texas Supreme Court has displayed a fundamental disregard for juries.”
If you’re interested in the Texas Civil Justice system, you should read the entire report: Thumbs On The Scale-A Retrospective of the Texas Supreme Court.
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