One document that influenced the Texas constitution was the United States constitution. These two constitutions are very similar. As a matter of fact, both the United States and Texas constitutions have a bill of rights, a bicameral legislature, a system of checks and balances, and a separation of powers within the three branches of government; legislative, executive, and judicial branches. One major reason I believe the United States constitution influenced the Texas constitution is because of the separation of powers divided into three different branches. However, the difference between the two constitutions and their branches of government is how the two differ from state powers and federal powers. For example, both of their executive branches have the power to veto or pass a law presented by the legislative branch. But in the United States Constitution, the executive branch is mainly dependent on the president whereas for the Texas constitution it is dependent on the governor and so on and so forth.
One United States supreme court case that affected federalism and impacted Texas is the supreme court case, Caron v. United States. In this case, the supreme court ruled that federal law forbids a person convicted of a serious offense to possess any type of firearm and requires that a three-time felon who violates this law will receive an increased sentence. I believe this affected Texas and federalism because in Texas gun laws are not just very controversial but they are very important for our citizens. Personally, the way I see this case is that it genuinely helped protect the people of the states by not allowing a felon to possess a firearm and if they do they receive enhanced sentencing. This case affected federalism by changing the way the second amendment was enforced by the United States and Texas.
I think that the Texas legislative branch is the most powerful and influential today because the legislative branch has the power of coming up with a bill for the Texas executive branch to decide if it will become a law. If we did not have the legislative branch there would not be a branch of the Texas government that could make the laws we live under today. Even though the executive branch decides to pass or veto a bill, without the legislative branch there would be nobody to create new and improved constitutional laws. The legislative branch has many responsibilities, including most commonly known, making and presenting the bills that could possibly become a new law. When the Texas legislature presents a bill to the governor for him to sign off on, it may not be passed. For example, in the Texas “bathroom bill” that was presented to the executive branch back in 2017, Governor Greg Abbott decided that after the regular legislative session and a special session that was held in the summer, he was not going to pass the bill because of the many controversies and different opinions about the proposed bill. The Texas “bathroom bill” basically requires that transgender public high school students should use restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate. A new and improved bathroom bill is said to be drafted and sent to the governor once again. In my point of view, I believe if this bill were to be passed the first time it would have made a big difference in safety issues when it comes to how transgenders use public restrooms. Also, regarding transgenders, there are many different controversies not just about public restrooms but about sports as well in 2017 a transgender man won the women’s wrestling title in texas for the second year in a row. Not only do I believe this is not fair but it is also very unsafe. I think along with the ‘bathroom bill” our legislatures should make more laws pertaining to transgenders in sports.
- Coleman, M. (2019, November 17). Two Constitutions: A Comparison. Retrieved November 17, 2019, from https://dlc.dcccd.edu/txgov1-2/two-constitutions-a-comparison.
- Regalado, D. M. (2019, November 17). Texas Government. Retrieved November 17, 2019, from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/odessa-texasgovernment/chapter/division-of-powers/.
- Caron v. United States, 524 U.S. 308 (1998). (2019, November 17). Retrieved November 17, 2019, from https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/524/308/.
- Associated Press in Cypress, T. (2018, February 25). Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs wins the Texas girls' title again. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/25/transgender-wrestler-mack-beggs-wins-texas-girls-title.
- THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION ARTICLE 3. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT. (2019, November 16). Retrieved November 16, 2019, from https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CN/htm/CN.3.htm.
- McGaughy, L. (2019, August 25). The Texas bathroom bill is dead -- for now. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2017/08/16/the-texas-bathroom-bill-is-dead-for-now/.