Roots of the Texas Judiciary

For the elections of the district judges and the Chief Justice, the two houses of Congress conducted a joint ballot. For lower court judges, their elections were conducted through a popular vote. County courts for each county were also established. This judicial structure was retained for the 1845 to 1869 constitutions (Womack, tshaonline.org). In 1845 however, Supreme Court district judges’ roles were discarded and consequently replaced by two associate justices (Womack, tshaonline.org). Another change was in 1850 when the positions of Supreme Court Justices and district judges were made elective. potential candidates for these positions were previously appointed by the governor with the authorization of the Senate (Womack, tshaonline.org).
The appellate court of last resort-the court of appeals was formed after the constitution of 1876 (Womack, tshaonline.org). The court was given authorization of appeals in criminal, county court and probate cases. In addition, the Supreme Court neither had the ability nor the will to review the court of Appeals decisions. However, the full intention of the court of appeal was to decide the civil appeal from the district courts by abandoning the supreme courts, but unfortunately, the Court of Appeal did not succeed in its mission leading to the deterioration of the Supreme Court’s work.
According to Womack, the second plan to relieve the supreme court was through the establishment of an intermediate level of appeals for cases that were civil in nature, which became possible when the Constitution was amended in 1891 (tshaonline.org). With time, the number of cases in need of attention by the courts increase and this led to an increased in the number of judges to nine by 1978 (Womack, tshaonline.org).