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UTSA / Political Science / POLS 1133 / What do you mean by senatorial courtesy?

What do you mean by senatorial courtesy?

What do you mean by senatorial courtesy?


School: University of Texas at San Antonio
Department: Political Science
Course: Texas Politics and Society
Professor: Badih elarba
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: POL1133, UTSA, Studyguide, and test2
Cost: 50
Name: Test 2 Study guide ch4-6
Description: Completed study guide over chapters 4-6
Uploaded: 10/14/2018
8 Pages 156 Views 7 Unlocks

trenthomas123 (Rating: )

khouse10 (Rating: )

TX Pol. Ch4-6 Study  Guide

What do you mean by senatorial courtesy?

TX governors are weak by design (Grange influence: scared of central strong executive)

∙ EJ Davis’s power hold in previous constitution -> current constitution (Article 4)  limited governor into plural executive system  

Memorable governors

Longest serving governor: Rick Perry

Shortest serving governor: Fletcher Stockdale

1st rep governor in over 100 yrs.: William Bill Clements

Only women to serve as governor: Miriam “Ma” Ferguson & Ann Richards

Greg Abbott (R.) elected TX governor in 2014, because Wendy Davis (D) didn’t get  enough votes (she did best in urban areas). Previous attorney general (stepping  stone)

GW (George W Bush) was the 1st governor to be elected to consecutive 4-yr. terms Formal powers

How many terms can a governor be re elected?

∙ In legislature: call special sessions and veto

∙ Pardon criminals and permit fugitives to be extradited

∙ Appoint state boards and commission members

∙ Give the state of the state address= don’t go against me, I’m popular ∙ Declare martial law

Informal powers:

∙ Persuasion power

∙ Address legislature

∙ Set agenda for TX gov’t We also discuss several other topics like How to diagram a double heterozygote cross?

∙ Media covers  

o Governor is the most visible officeholder in TX and commands news  attention (Ex: Harvey Hurricane) = leadership skills must be shown

Senatorial courtesy: governor clearing their appointment w/ TX senate from  appointee home district

What is different about appellate courts?

“Tough on crime” campaign strategy offends few voters

Executive Branch (All Republican)

Lt. Governor- Dan Patrick

Leader of senate, assigns committees and chairs, breaks ties in Senate

Attorney General- Ken Paxton

Chief legal advisor -> stepping stone to governor’s office

More work w/ civil>criminal law

Office is devoted to collection of child support payments, delinquent state taxes,  administration of crime victim compensation and Medicare fraud. We also discuss several other topics like What is the study of welfare economics?

Comptroller of Public Accts.- Glenn Hagar

Chief tax collector and investor in state funds, revenue forecaster

In charge of 0 debt amendment

Land Commissioner- George P. Bush

Manages TX owned lands (leasing) & coastal land extending 10.3 miles into Gulf  (maintain environment of beach)

Leasing state lands and generating funds from oil and gas production ∙ Sovereign’s tax: tax on drilled from leased land (oil & gas)

Loans $$ to TX veterans to purchase rural land

Agriculture Commissioner- Sid Miller

Agriculture regulation (Ex: pesticides) & certification of measuring devices (gasoline  pumps, electronic scanners, and grocery scales)

Rail Road Commission (3)- Christi Craddock, Wayne Christian, and  Ryan Sitton

Regulate some aspects of transportation (terminals, wharves, and express co.)  along w/ oil and gas industry  We also discuss several other topics like What happens to people with ocd?

3 members w/ 6-year staggered terms (1 member elected every 2 years, member up for election serves as chair)

State board of Education

nominates someone to the governor to be the commissioner of education. Don't forget about the age old question of What job contradicts goldhagen’s theory?

State board authority reduced by legislature. Legislature took away textbook selection  over infighting and some elected (Christians). Don't forget about the age old question of What are the examples of thermodynamics?

Secretary of State- Rolando Pablos

Appointed not elected

Voting registration, elections, photo ID laws


Formal- 30 years old, citizen, and resident of TX 5yrs. (Not required to be registered  voter) We also discuss several other topics like What is an example of a punitive damage?

Informal- prior elected experience, strong name recognition, successful fund-raising or  campaign & party, support from national party

∙ white, well-educated, protestant, male

Gubernatorial elections: TX governors are elected in off-years (non presidential years, even years) b/c they get more attention and not overshadowed by  presidential candidates

1972 enacted in 1974; Terms of office were changed from 2 to 4 yr. terms TX Governor’s salary $150,000

∙ Mansion, limo, state-owned aircraft

∙ 2nd largest state in population & geography (diverse) “international state”

Veto power

∙ General veto: cancelling or postponing a bill enacted by the legislature ∙ Line-item veto: appropriation (granting $) bills wo/ rejecting whole bill ∙ Legislature can override any veto w/ 2/3 votes from both houses

Removal from office

Impeachment: lower house adopts articles of impeachment -> trial held by Senate ->  need 2/3 votes to convict

∙ Conviction: Senate tries official based on articles. If convicted= removal from  office.

Highly political nature in impeachments

Texas doesn’t allow recall

James E Pa Ferguson: only governor to be impeached and convicted for lending $$ ∙ fought w/ and vetoed bills with the University of Texas over criticism of him

Succession: Lt. Governor -> Pro tempore of senate -> speaker of the house ->  attorney general-> chief justices

Court System in TX

Judges & Justices elected in single-member partisan election w/ 4 yr. terms for Trial  courts and 6yr. terms for Appellate courts

Missouri system- first term appointed by judges, reelection could either be kept or  removed by voters

∙ used to select judicial candidates

Pro bono- “for the good” certified attorneys in TX must provide free legal service Stare decisis- court’s decision depending on previous rulings of other courts TX is bifurcated - 9 judges elected statewide for 6yr. overlapping terms ∙ Oklahoma only other state w/ 2 SC’s

US is dual court system as well as TX: legislature makes the laws, courts interpret  them

∙ US SC is law of land, TX SC is law of state. US can reverse a TX decision  Texaco vs. Pennzoil: most corrupt court case JUSTICE IS FOR SALE

∙ Pennzoil was granted largest damage award ($$) in history

∙ Lawyers practicing before the judges they contributed to elect will be favored Most numerous cases were against individuals

Trial Courts

Separate localized in counties w/ 1 judge

Citizens participate in trials as juries or witnesses (guilt/not guilty) Announce decision immediately after trial

Some require judges to be a lawyer, some don’t

Civil cases don’t result in jail time -> monetary judgement

Magistrate/Municipal courts (2 in TX)

Mainly traffic violations, class C misdemeanors and a few civil cases within city’s  boundaries

Judicial qualification varies depending on general law or home-rule city

Trial de novo- Courts that do not keep a written record of their proceedings; cases on  appeal begin as new cases in the appellate courts

Magistrate functions- Deals w/ preliminary hearings for people charged w/ serious  criminal offense

Justice of Peace Courts

At a minimum one per each county

Hear clas C misdemeanor and civil cases

JP doesn’t have to be lawyer/attorney

Provides magistrate and coroner (certify if someone is dead) functions

County Courts (2)

In all 254 counties

 Hear class A misdemeanors, civil cases, and appellate cases from lower level courts

∙ Constitutional county courts  

Probate (evidence) matters

∙ County court-at-law

Relieves constitutional county court congestion

District courts

Jurisdiction over one or more counties

Primary trial courts; principal trial courts

Hear felonies and high-level civil cases  

Appellate Courts

Decide whether proper procedures have been followed in trial courts “Affirming” a lower court decision=agreeing w/ the lower court

No citizen participation  

14 in TX w/ judges elected by districts

Hears both civil and criminal cases from trial courts

On the court, Chief justice and between 2-12 justices

Court of criminal appeals

Highest criminal appellate court

Death penalty starts here

Supreme court

Highest civil appellate court

Local gov’t in TX

Federalism and decentralization in TX are why local governments exist  

Incorporation: process of creating a city gov’t. Needs a minimum of 201 citizens living  within a 2-square-mile area. 10% of registered voters and 50% of property owners must  sign petition.  

1. Local citizens petition state to be a city

2. Election w/ simple majority of voters to approve city w/ its boundaries 3. State issues corporate charter

4. Second election to elect city officials  

Cities once at population 5,000 can decide whether to be GL or HR cities Special districts largest gov’ts in TX

ETJ’s: city powers extending to area adjacent to city limits Provides cities w/ ETJ outside their city boundaries

Allows regulation and annexation of unincorporated areas (EX: San Antonio> Alamo  heights). City council by majority vote, can annex land in ETJ wo/ citizen opinion

∙ Provides process for home-rule cities grappling w/ suburban sprawl ∙ Protects & enhances tax base

∙ More political power = more fed $ & representatives  

City & county courts provide services (police, streets, water, sewer), enact regulation  (zoning, construction, sanitation), and levy taxes.  

∙ Ad valorem tax/property tax - #1 tax source  

 ∙     Sales tax is #1 in TX 6.25% 

General Law city

TX legislature prescribes the charter of GL cities

∙ Population of 201+  

∙ Approximate 900 (75%) in TX

GL cities are bound by Dillion’s Rule: GL cities can only change if state  constitution allows those changes

Home Rule city

City charter is adopted, amended, or repealed by majority vote in a citywide  election (city constitution)

∙ Population of 5000+

∙ HR not bound by Dillion

∙ Approximate 300+

3 powers by state gov’t

Recall- process for removing elected officials w/ popular vote

Initiative- citizen-drafted measure proposed by a specified number or qualified  voters and voted on by citizens

Referendum- approves or repeals an existing ordinance by popular vote (not much in TX)

San Antonio is home rule (ex: curfew, no phone while driving)

Strong Mayor council

Used by many large cities- only in Houston  

Council composed of members elected from single member district  

Weak Mayor council

Mayor equal w/ council members

∙ Council can easily override mayor vetoes

Local gov’t gives mayor limited admin powers

Mayor is face of city mainly, like governor’s plural executive


Most popular form of gov’t in TX 

Mayor is presiding council member w/ few admin powers

Mayor & council members elected by voters

City manager appointed by council  

∙ Responsible for carrying out council decisions and managing city’s  departments

City council or commission members at large or single member districts  ∙ make general policy for city

Sheryl Sculley makes a lot of $$$


Experts for different departments

General law


Agents of the state: Provides basic services primarily to outside state services 254 counties vary (Ex: Harris county vs. Loving county)

County tax offices handles voter registration. Property tax #1 tax source also sells state  vehicle license & permits

Provide: recording vital statistics, operating state courts and jails, administering  elections, and maintaining roads and bridges.

∙ marriage license birth certificates, automobile registration, operates state courts  

Municipal Elections/Voting  

Voting Rights Act (1965)- Outlawed discrimination of voting. Switched city gov’ts from at-large system to single member districts. This gave more representation to minorities  allowing them to be the majorities and elect their candidates

TX has nonpartisan voting.

Bond elections

Borrow $ and tax citizens for infrastructure project, cities raise revenues to compensate Want to build and expand  

At-large elections

Most common in TX

Council members elected on a citywide basis

∙ Have a ballot w/ all position

Over representation majority and under represent minorities

Single-member districts

Voters cast a ballot only for a candidate who resides within their district Increased diversity on city council & local gov’t

Cumulative elections

# of votes equal to the number of positions available and may cast them for 1+  candidates in combos

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