City of Beaumont v. Bouillion

In City of Beaumont v. Bouillion, 896 S.W.2d 143 (Tex. 1995), the Texas Supreme Court had the chance to determine whether the Texas Bill of Rights created a private right of action for damages. While analyzing the matter, it observed that "the text of the . . . Bill of Rights cuts against an implied private right of action for damages sought because it explicitly announced the consequences of unconstitutional laws." Id. at 148. The consequence alluded to was the avoidance of the law; that is, laws enacted in violation of the Bill of Rights are void. Id. at 148-49. And, voiding the law "is different from seeking compensation for damages, or compensation in money for a loss or injury." Id. at 149. It further rejected the notion that a private cause of action for damages must be contemplated within the Bill of Rights because Article 1, 17 of the Texas Constitution encompassed the payment of adequate compensation for property taken, damaged, destroyed or applied to public use by the government. Though the text of the law entitled one who suffered such a taking to relief, it "provided a textual entitlement to compensation in its limited context," and "this language . . . could not be interpreted beyond its context." Id. at 149.