State legislation is a pivotal part of the American government system and the structure of how government is conducted in the United States. Among the many different forms of legislation which states have passed, many have been found to be lacking in the capabilities to be conducive or complementary to federal legislation, and often times state legislation is clunky in its execution. One of the more prominent examples of this occurrence can be seen in the Texas constitution. This piece of legislation has long been critiqued and analyzed for many of its inconsistencies as well as its poor execution in many important areas.
One of the principal problems with the Texas constitution is in the fact that the document doesn’t allow for much in terms of actual, consistent power between the three branches of government in the state. Furthermore, the Texas constitution makes a proper balance between the branches of government difficult. (Hill, 1976) The primary issue with the constitution’s address of the executive branch is in the power that it gives to the Governor, the highest position in the state. This issue contributes to a large part of the inefficiency of the governing body. (Hill, 1976)
As a result of the way in which the Texas constitution is structured, there is a fragment in the overall power of the executive branch. (Hill, 1976) The Governor doesn’t have any actual authority or control over other state figures and authorities. Yet its the case that he shares power and authority with these individuals. (Hill, 1976) This is also true at the lower levels of the government within the state, and contributes to much stagnation and inefficiency in terms of the Governor and the position that the Governor plays within the state. (Braden, 1977)
If given the opportunity to change one thing about the executive branch of the Texas constitution, it would be in this particular branch’s inability to contribute any substantial leadership in the form of the Governor’s role. (Braden, 1972) The position should hold more authority of the proceedings of the government and the state legislation. One of the primary problems with the judicial branch is in the way that the courts themselves are structured, as there are two predominant courts presiding over the way in which the government operates in the state. (Braden, 1972)
Significant changes could be made to this system as there is a particularly noticeable lack of balance between the two and the checks and balances that are put in place are inefficient. (Braden, 1972) Changing the way in which this branch of government operates could do much to establish more integral instruments of jurisdiction and control over the various branches within the government itself. (Braden, 1972) The changes could also pose significant strides in modernizing the lengthy and elaborate constitution, which has been seen as wordy and lacking in actual structure.
The last branch of the government, being the legislative branch, is noticeably inefficient in providing solid pieces of legislation to base the government’s occurrences and rules upon. (Braden, 1972) Overall, the length and nature of the legislation which is passed is convoluted and clunky, resulting in a large inability of the government to utilize the legislative branch’s ability to amend and pass more constitutional appeals. (Braden, 1972) These appeals don’t often happen and changes aren’t made to the constitution as a result. Shortening the legislation and making the necessary amendments to the constitution would provide a more stable base to build upon. (Braden, 1977)
The overall nature of the Texas constitution has resulted in the document being largely ineffective in controlling and legislating different forms of government within the state. By making statutory changes to how the government is executed and the constitution itself, the state could stand to see major improvements in the effectiveness of the government.
- Braden, George (1972). Citizens’ guide to the Texas Constitution. Austin: Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
- Hill, John L., ed. (1976). Constitution of the State of Texas. Austin: [Office of the Attorney General of Texas].
- Braden, George D.; et al. (1977). “The Constitution of the State of Texas: An Annotated and Comparative Analysis”. Texas State Law Library.