Election of the Attorney General through Texas constitutional history

Today the newly elected Attorney General will be sworn into office. In Texas, the attorney general is one of six executive offices created by the state constitution (Tex. Const. art. IV, sec. 1), five of which are elected (Tex. Const. art. IV, sec. 2).

But it has not always been so. The attorney general was an appointed official under the constitution of the Republic of Texas (art. VI, sec. 10) and the 1845 constitution of the State of Texas. A constitutional amendment in 1850 provided for the election of the attorney general, a status that continued until the 1869 constitution (art. IV, sec. XIII), which returned the office to appointed status, despite a proposal on August 3, 1868 by Lemuel D. Evans (future presiding judge of the infamous Semicolon Court) to retain the office’s elected status.

The office returned to elected status with the adoption of the 1876 constitution, and has remained an elected position ever since.

01.05 AG seal

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