Texas-Sized Transformation: The Conservative Counterrevolution on the Texas Supreme Court

November 21, 2006

Meredith B. Parenti, Susanna Dokupil

Over the past twenty years, it is quite possible that no state supreme court has seen a metamorphosis of the scope that has occurred on the Texas Supreme Court. In 1985, the oft-used expression "Everything's Bigger in Texas" had no better example than the $11 billion verdict handed down by a Houston jury in a tortious interference with contract case, Texaco, Inc. v. Pennzoil, Co., which at the time was the largest jury verdict in United States history. The verdict was upheld by the intermediate court of appeals, and the Texas Supreme Court--which was viewed as demonstrably pro-plaintiff--refused to review the case, although it did announce that there was no reversible error. But change was just over the horizon.

Texas-Sized Transformation: The Conservative Counterrevolution on the Texas Supreme Court