What’s The Difference Between The U.S. and Texas Constitutions?
While many people learn about the U.S. Constitution in school, few give it much thought outside of school, and even fewer give the Texas Constitution any thought at all. While the U.S. Constitution applies to the federal government with the states being subordinate, the Texas Constitution (and all state constitutions) sets in writing what the state government can and cannot do with the counties being subordinate.
While similar to the U.S Constitution, the Texas Constitution has some striking differences, many of which can make it more difficult to file constitutionally based lawsuits under Texas law. One of the most striking differences between the Texas and U.S. Constitutions is length. The U.S. Constitution is intentionally brief and vague, which allows the federal government to broadly interpret it. The Texas Constitution was written leaving little room for interpretation to ensure it cannot be interpreted in a manner inconsistent with the constitution’s ideals.
The Texas Constitution gets its length from going into great detail. While the Texas Constitution grants Texans similar rights to the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution is much more specific regarding exactly when these rights are infringed upon. While it may seem like this specificity would make legal matters cut and dry, in practice it can greatly complicate things.
Filing a Lawsuit Under The Texas Constitution
There are generally two types of lawsuits filed under the Texas Constitution: facial challenges and “as applied” challenges. Facial challenges claim particular portions of the Texas Constitution are unconstitutional. In “as applied” challenges, plaintiffs argue constitutional statutes are being applied unconstitutionally in a way that discriminates against them because of their particular circumstances.
Because Texas has a very specific constitution, it can be difficult to understand whether or not a statute was applied wrongly in “as applied” challenges. Only experienced lawyers familiar with the nuances of the Texas Constitution will be able to determine if a violation has occurred and provide enough evidence to overcome the burden of proof associated with these cases.
Feldman & Feldman: Experts Constitutional Law
At Feldman & Feldman, our attorneys have extensive experience filing lawsuits under the Texas Constitution. We understand how complex these cases can be and are uniquely qualified to litigate and resolve these issues. If you believe your rights under the Texas Constitution have been infringed upon, contact us today.