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)