Texas Attorney General Opinion: M-562 Page: 4 of 7
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Hon. Ted Butler, page 4 (M-562)
vacancies in the office of County Judge and
Justices of the Peace shall be filled by the
Commissioners Court until the next succeeding
This provision of the Constitution clearly provides
for vacancies in the office of Justice of the Peace to be filled
by the Commissioners Court until the next general election.
The power of the Commissioners Court to fill vacancies by ap-
pointment under the authority of this provision of the Consti-
tution is exclusive and the Legislature has no authority to
authorize or provide for the filling of such vacancies in any
other manner. State v. Valentine, 198 S.W. 1006 (Tex.Civ.App.
1917, error ref.). Therefore, Paragraph (a) of Article 2351-1/2
and that portion of the order of the Commissioners Court of
Bexar County which was entered in conformity with this statute,
are unconstitutional because they provide for a method of fill-
ing the vacancies in the office of Justice of the Peace of Pre-
cincts Three., Four and Five by election and are in direct con-
flict with the above quoted constitutional provision. They
are further invalid as attempts to provide for the election of
persons to fill an office not in existence at the time of the
election, -Brown v. Meeks, 96 S.W.2d 839 (Tex.Civ.App. 1939,
With reference to the terms of office of Justice of
the Peace of Precincts Three, Four and Five as they came into
existence on January 1, 1969, we must look to those provisions
of the Constitution relating to that office. Under the pro-
visions of Section 18 of Article V and Section 64 of Article
XVI of the Constitution of Texas, the term of office of Justice
of the Peace is four years. Section 65 of Article XVI of the
Constitution of Texas reads, in part, as follows:
"The following officers elected at the
General Election in November, 1954, and there-
after, shall serve for the full terms provided
in this Constitution:
". .. (j) Justices of the Peace.
"In any district, county or precinct where
any of the aforementioned offices is of such
nature that two (2) or more persons hold such
office, with the result that candidates file for
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: M-562, text, 1970; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth269787/m1/4/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.