SMNR: Inside Texas Government: How It Really Works
- Semester: Spring 2021
- Course ID: 397S
- Credit Hours: 3
- Course Type: Seminar
- Grading Method: Pass/Fail Allowed (JD only)
- Upperclass-only elective
|TUE||4:15 - 6:13 pm||TNH 3.127|
This course will be taught in person but with the option of remote participation via Zoom. Please note that this course might become online-only in the event that actual in-person attendance during the semester consistently falls below a threshold to be determined in the exercise of reasonable discretion by the instructor and the Student Affairs Office.
This seminar, “Inside Texas Government: How It Really Works,” furthers the public service mission of The University of Texas School of Law by endeavoring to help law students who aspire to become lawyers who practice law in and around Texas state government, or enhancing the understanding of those students who are just interested in politics and government. The School of Law already offers courses that deal with the legislative branch of the Texas state government and how to navigate it, and virtually every class at the School of Law studies the judicial branch and decisions made by it and their impact. However, there is no course offering that specifically focuses on the executive branch and its interaction with the other two branches of Texas state government, especially the legislative branch. This seminar seeks to provide such a focus.
The course teacher, Adjunct Professor Randy Erben, possesses unique expertise, experience, and perspectives into state government. He served as Gov. Abbott’s first legislative director, has run two state agencies, was a registered lobbyist with a broad variety of clients for over 20 years, and currently serves as a commissioner on the Texas Ethics Commission.
The course will study the constitutional and statutory powers of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, and other officials and agencies. Class topics include legislation (including legislative procedure, special sessions, emergency proclamations, and vetoes); separation of powers; the state budget; state agency regulations; appointments to boards and commissions; litigation; orders, proclamations, and opinions; and other topics.
This seminar reviews and analyzes the powers and duties of the various executive branch offices and applies them to real-life situations.
The seminar consists of fourteen classroom seminar sessions, covering the specific mechanisms the various executive branch agencies utilize to project power within the constitutional, statutory, and regulatory limitations constraining them.