Scott Henson of Grits for Breakfast published a history-centered post on Saturday that covers some interesting stories from the Texas Supreme Court’s past. If you’re a fan of history, or of habeas writs, you should check it out.
You will find:
- An account given by former Justice A.W. Terrell of a dramatic showdown during the Civil War between Chief Justice Moore and a confederate general who refused to acknowledge a writ of habeas corpus issued to save some accused union sympathizers from military punishment.
The five Justices of the Texas Supreme Court (including Moore) who were removed from office by the U.S. military during reconstruction, and what became of them.
“The Semicolon Court”: the derisive name given to the Reconstruction-era justices who wrote Ex part Rodriguez, an 1874 decision holding invalid the 1873 gubernatorial election that the Democratic candidate (former Justice Coke) had appeared to win 2-1 over the Republican incumbent. The Rodriguez appeal arose from a prosecution for voter fraud — Rodriguez was charged with voting twice in that election. His defense? That the whole election had been unconstitutional. Rodriguez won his defense, but the Governor ignored the ruling.
Source: “Habeas writs that helped define Reconstruction-era Texas” (Grits for Breakfast)