Texas Wesleyan Law Review


Lance A. Cooper

Document Type



Americans have struggled since colonial times with the notion that judges should be independent, yet accountable to the people. The tension inherent between these two concepts has manifested itself throughout this nation's history in the conflict over whether judges should be elected by the people or appointed by representatives. Presently, the citizens of Texas choose state judges through direct election. However, at different times during the nineteenth century, judges were elected or appointed by various branches of state government, depending on which constitution the state was operating under at the time. Since gaining independence from Mexico, the citizens of Texas have ratified six constitutions. Four provided for judges by appointment, while two provided for judges by election. Not surprisingly, questions arise as to why the method of judicial selection changed during the nineteenth century, and what efforts have been made to change the system in the twentieth century. This article offers an historical overview of the judicial selection process in Texas during these periods.



First Page


Last Page