Riggs & Ray, P.C. v. State Fair of Tex., No. 05-17-00973-CV, 2019 WL 4200009 (Tex. App.—Dallas Sept. 5, 2019, no pet. h.) (mem. op.) (Whitehill, J., dissenting).


This dissenting opinion discusses statutory construction rules critical to our constitutional role under separation of powers principles:

As always, we start with the statutory text’s plain meaning. ***  If the statute is unambiguous and yields only one interpretation, as it does here, the plain meaning ends the inquiry. *** That’s the law we must follow:
When construing a statute, our chief objective is effectuating the Legislature’s intent, and ordinarily, the truest manifestation of what lawmakers intended is what they enacted. This voted-on language is what constitutes the law, and when a statute’s words are unambiguous and yield but one interpretation, “the judge’s inquiry is at an end.” We give such statutes their plain meaning without resort to rules of construction or extrinsic aids.

In addition to discussing those important principles, this dissenting opinion’s first footnote further emphasizes our court’s importance in a democratically elected representative government:

Fundamental to those established [statutory construction] principles is the concept that holding legislators accountable to the words they vote on is critical to our democratically elected representative form of government and is integral to the separation of powers doctrine enshrined in our constitutions. It is our job to decide specific cases and controversies based on the words the legislators use and not on our own view of what would be better policy.