The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 153
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The Reconstruction Courts of Texas, 1867-1873
A. B. Hall had been defeated for re-election as sheriff of Harris
County. He thereafter caused one Joseph Rodriguez to be arrested
under a warrant issued by a justice of peace for allegedly voting
twice in the election. Rodriguez was held in Travis County by
John Price, a Harris County deputy sheriff, and brought habeas
corpus proceedings in the Supreme Court. He was represented
by former Governor A. J. Hamilton and C. B. Sabin. Frank M.
Spencer, district attorney of Harris County, was appointed to
represent the state in the absence of the attorney general. He
moved to dismiss the proceedings as being wholly fictitious and
concocted by A. B. Hall. This motion was supported by affidavit
and Spencer requested leave of the court to bring witnesses from
Houston to support the motion. This motion was overruled,
whereupon Spencer resigned and B. Trigg, the district attorney
of Travis County, was appointed to take his place. Trigg, sup-
ported by a committee of the Austin Bar, consisting of George
F. Moore, M. A. Long, C. S. West, Thos. E. Sneed, W. M.
Walton, and A. W. Terrell, renewed the claim that the cause was
fictitious. The report of the case shows that Associate Justice
McAdoo, who had been appointed upon the retirement of Judge
Evans, "remarked that the case was a curious one-the State seem-
ingly being desirous not to prove the relator Rodriguez guilty
of the charge while the friends of the relator furnished witnesses
who, they say, will prove his guilt."
Of course, had Rodriguez been enlarged on the grounds urged
by the state through the district attorneys, the question of the
validity of the election would not be reached. The Court, how-
ever, followed the course which brought them to a consideration
of the legality of the election and held that although Rodriguez
had voted twice, he had committed no crime as the election was
void. This was the last act of the Semicolon Court. At the end of
the report of Ex parte Rodriguez, the reporters Terrell and
Walker appended the following note:
To the historian, rather than the law reporter, belongs the duty of
perpetuating the memory of the events connected with the install-
ment of the state officers chosen at the general election pronounced
illegal by this opinion. ...
We may properly say, that the question before the court in Ex
parte Rodriguez received its final practical solution as a political
and not a judicial question.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/195/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.