The state of Texas is the second largest in the US by area, and population. With nearly 270,000 sq.miles in area, and over 28 million residents living in the state, the south-central state shares borders with Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. It is also bordered by Mexican states and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston is the state’s most populous city and 4th most populous city in the country. It was admitted as the 28th state into the union on December 29, 1845.
Texas’ economy was driven by four-prominent industries prior to WWII including cattling, timber, oil, and cotton. The discovery of oil deposits in the state led to the economic boom and was the main driving force in the state throughout the 20th century. Since 2002 Texas has been the leading state in the US in exports, and maintains the second highest GDP in the nation. Today the state is a leading producer in oil, is one of the leading states in government jobs in the tech industry, and has one of the largest economies throughout the US and worldwide.
The government of Texas was set up by the Texas Constitution, and consists of a unitary democratic state government operating under a presidential system that uses the Dillon Rule, as well as governments at the county and municipal levels. The Dillon Rule is a legal principle that local governments have limited authority, and can pass ordinances only in areas where they have been granted authority by the larger state government. The executive branch of the Texas state government includes the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Land Commissioner, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, the three-member Texas Railroad Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Secretary of State. The system in Texas limits the power of the Governor, as each executive branch member (with the exception of the Secretary of State) are elected independently.
Much like the federal government, the legislature of Texas has two houses-the Texas House of Representatives and the Senate. Again, like the federal government, the Speaker of the House leads the House of Representatives, and the Lieutenant Governor leads the Senate.
Texas boasts one of the most complicated judicial systems in the country. The system is described in Article 5 of the Texas Constitution and is further defined by statute, in particular the Texas Government Code and the Texas Probate Code. The system is complicated by multiple levels and overlapping jurisdictions, with different courts often sharing courthouses. The court levels are: The Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Courts of Appeals, District Courts, Probate Courts, Constitutional County Courts, Statutory County Courts at Law, Municipal Courts and the Justice of the Peace Courts.
The National Law Review covers several stories from the state of Texas and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Cases and stories related to telemedicine and healthcare in the state, data and cybersecurity laws, labor and employment laws, paid sick leave, insurance law, bankruptcy and tax cases, are among the different areas of law visitors will find, as they relate to Texas, on the National Law Review site.