Senator Cornyn

Cornyn, Cruz Bill to Extend Federal Court Proceedings in West Texas Passes Senate

March 2, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) released the following statements after their Improving Access to Our Courts Act, which would allow federal court proceedings to be conducted at the U.S. District Court in Alpine, Texas that is one of the seven Western District of Texas courts and serves nine Texas counties, passed the Senate:

“The American system of checks and balances relies on the strength of our three branches of government,”said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for supporting this legislation to bolster the mission of our judicial branch and allow more local cases to be processed in West Texas federal courtrooms, and I urge the House to pass it without delay.”

 “I am proud to have worked with my Texan colleagues to increase accessibility to our federal courts for victims, parties, counsel, and the general public” said Sen. Cruz. “Through this needed addition, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas is now able to provide more efficient service to the people of West Texas, allowing them to seek redress without needing to drive for several hours to the nearest federal courthouse.”

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) are cosponsors of the bill. U.S. House of Representatives Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Rick Larsen (WA-02), and Suzan DelBene (WA-01) have filed a companion bill in the House. 


This legislation will clarify in law that federal court proceedings may be held in Alpine, Texas, for the Western District of Texas, and in Mt. Vernon, Washington, for the Western District of Washington. Currently, litigants typically sign waivers to allow for court proceedings in Alpine, Texas.  Updating the law to remove this bureaucratic hurdle, will streamline court proceedings and encourage more local court proceedings in the Alpine