The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 11
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Establishing the Texas Court of Appeals, 1875-1876 9
were at that time 1600 undecided cases before the Supreme
3. Proposals for Relieving the Supreme Court
The Judiciary Committee worked for six weeks and then
made its recommendations for relieving the overcrowded
dockets of the higher courts in four reports. The majority
report was signed by W. P. Ballinger and seven other com-
mittee members. Judge Reagan and three others signed one
minority report, while Norvell and Douglass signed an-
other. A third minority report was submitted by De-
Morse.'8 The Ballinger and Reagan reports were submitted
to the Convention on October 20; the DeMorse and Norvell
reports on October 22 and 23, respectively.
The Ballinger majority report recommended that the ju-
dicial power of the state be vested in one supreme court, in
district courts, in county courts, in commissioners' courts, in
courts of justices of the peace, and in such other courts as
should be established by law. The supreme court was to consist
of five justices, three of whom should constitute a quorum,
and the concurrence of three judges was necessary for a de-
cision. The State was to be divided into five districts, and the
voters of each district were to elect one of the supreme court
justices, who should serve for a term of eight years at a
salary of $4,000 a year. On certificate from the supreme court
that it was unable to dispose of the business therein, together
with the current business of the court, the Legislature was
to provide for the organization of a commission for the de-
termination of all cases pending in the supreme court, and
cases which were turned over to the commission by the su-
The Reagan minority report recommended that the crowded
condition of the higher courts be relieved by rearranging the
jurisdiction of the courts which the majority report proposed
to establish. It also proposed to enlarge the jurisdiction of
the lower courts, thereby relieving the higher courts of many
17S. S. McKay, Debates in the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875,
IsJournal of the Convention, 406-422; 437-446; 456-462.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/15/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.