Posted: September 3rd, 2013






For effective and efficient governance the world civilizations in democratic nations have deemed it necessary to develop and promulgate constitutions. In general, these constitutions are mainly designed to serve four main functions. The first is that they describe an outline of the structure and organization of the government, secondly, state constitutions serve to distribute powers among the various branches of government, thirdly, they define the processes and rules by which decisions are made and finally, they serve to limit the powers of the government and in the process protect the rights of the citizens (Levy, Kenneth, and Adam, 103).

The above principles are reflected in the current Texas constitution. The constitution comprises of articles three, four and five that mainly describe the structure and organization of the government. These articles also serve to dictate on how the powers are going to be distributed on the various branches of government. The articles also go ahead to dictate the processes and rules by which decisions are made. The rights of the state’s inhabitants are protected in the first article that is known as the bill of rights.

The principle that tends to be least reflected is one regarding the distribution of power among the various arms of government. This is mainly because the constitutions tends to be highly restrictive and limits the options available to the officials. The governors are given weak powers while there are uncalled for limits on legislatures.

The current Texas constitution has been amended for a record four hundred and fifty six times. This is predominantly because of the dynamics involved in the state’s politics. Past constitutions tend to reflect the mood and political environment of the time when they were put into place. With this regard, the constitution would be written in such a way as to prevent the recurrence of the presiding problems that concerned the people at the time.

The changes are therefore because of the outdated provisions that were engrained in the constitution during the rural frontier era. The 19th century constitution drafters also tended to set in various restrictions in response to the prevailing reconstruction era. This have all ended and thereby bringing about the need for changes so that the constitution can reflect the current environment (Keith, Gary, and Stefan, 46).

The current Texas constitution is plagued by various limitations. First, the constitution fails in providing the relevant authorities with enough powers and jurisdictions for them to effectively and efficiently execute their responsibilities. Since the constitution was drafted at time when the ruling government had underlying excesses with corruption and abuse of power common in state governments the constitution was drafted in such a way as to limit the options available for the officials. The constitution therefore provides for weak powers for governors and limits on legislatures. The constitution is also cumbersome and fails in fully meeting the needs of the citizens.

The shortcomings of the current constitution have brought about various efforts aimed at correcting the constitution to suit the present environment. The ideas that have been discussed include the lengthening of the terms of the office of the house and the members of senate from four to six years. There is also the idea of imposing terms limits on members and the creation of veto sessions that tend to allow the legislature to respond timely to gubernatorial vetoes (Keith, Gary, and Stefan, 58).

One particular interesting contemporary constitutional reform group is the Austin Constitution Meetup Group. This group has been very vocal on the need to come up with a new Texas constitution that free of the past limitations and one that clearly mirrors the issues and aspects of the modern society.

It is very necessary to have another constitutional convention to address the problems with the current Texas constitution. This is because the problems plaguing the Constitution are very many and cannot be left to the administration alone to tackle them. A constitutional convention is the only way where the views of the people can be collectively gathered and therefore resulting into a constitution that clearly reflects the ideologies and principles of the people of Texas.


Works cited

Keith, Gary, and Stefan D. Haag. Texas Politics and Government: Roots and Reform. New York: Longman, 2010. Print.

Keith, Gary, and Stefan D. Haag. Texas Politics and Government: Roots and Reform. New York: Longman, 2010. Print.

Levy, Leonard W, Kenneth L. Karst, and Adam Winkler. Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000. Print.


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