The Court did not issue any opinions or grant any petitions in this week’s order list.
But the Court did resolve the motion filed by the state legislators who sought amicus argument in Entergy Gulf States v. Summers, No. 05-0272. The Court denied the motion for argument time. The wording of the order suggests that the legislators sought additional argument time, not just to share in a party’s argument time — something that is only rarely granted. [Update: This is indeed what they sought in this motion..]
The Court’s brief notation on this order summarized its policy on granting argument time to amici this way:
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 59.6, upon motion to the Court and with a party’s consent, the Court will grant amicus curiae leave to share up to five minutes of the twenty minutes allotted to that party for oral argument.
Added after reading the motion: The legislators’ motion had asked the Court to suspend that rule and to grant them oral argument even though they did not have the consent of a party to share time. The motion compared this to judges appearing before legislative committees, saying “[i]t is the hope of amici that this Court will extend the courtesy of separate time to argue so that they and this court can engage in a fruitful discussion of the parameters of the Court’s authority to interpret legislative enactments.” The motion does not say how that discussion might differ from the legislators’ amicus briefing from December, which said that the Court’s original decision was so wrong that it “violated the separation of powers doctrine” and was thus “void.”