The Supreme Court of Texas has recognized the discretion of a trial court judge to deny the State of Texas automatic supersedeas in cases involving non-monetary judgments pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 24.2(a)(3).

In In re State Board for Educator Certification, a schoolteacher challenged the State Board for Educator Certification’s revocation of his teaching certificate.  The trial court reversed the State’s revocation of the teaching certificate and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the State from treating the certificate as having been revoked.  The State appealed, which automatically suspends the judgment under Section 6.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.  In response, the teacher invoked Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 24.2(a)(3) and filed security with the trial court as a "counter-supersedeas" (or as Justice Willett calls it, "superdupersedeas").   The trial court agreed with the teacher and declined to allow the judgment to be treated as superseded by virtue of the State’s appeal. 

The State then sought mandamus relief from the Texas Supreme Court.  The issue raised was whether the trial court has discretion to refuse to allow the State to supersede a non-monetary judgment pending appeal.  Relying upon language in its prior opinions that, until now, might have been described as dicta, the court holds that TRAP 24.2(a)(3)–in effect–trumps CPRC Section 6.001 and gives a trial court discretion to deny supersedeas. 

Interestingly, the majority makes the point that if the State’s right to supersedeas were absolute, then it would vest unchecked power in the executive branch and run afoul of the balance of power between the branches of government.  Thus, the court denies the petition for writ of mandamus.  Justice Willett’s opinion may be found here.

There is a separate concurrence authored by Justice Guzman, in which she addresses the merits of the trial court’s injunction order prohibiting the State from revoking the teacher’s certificate while appealing the judgment.  She expressed concern that the record did not show that the trial court had adequately considered potential harm to schoolchildren.  Nonetheless, she concurred in the denial of the petition for writ of mandamus because the State’s petition had limited its argument on appeal to a lack of complete discretion to grant an injunction, as opposed to an abuse of discretion it had.  The concurrence may be found here.