A House committee is asking the attorney general's office to determine whether Governor Rick Perry had the authority to appoint a special master for the Texas Youth Commission.
The committee is looking into allegations of rampant abuse inside the youth prisons.
Lawmakers wanted Perry to appoint a conservator to overhaul the troubled agency, which incarcerates the state's most dangerous or chronic juvenile offenders.
Instead, he appointed special master Jay Kimbrough to investigate the problems.
But some lawmakers say the problem is that a conservator's powers and duties are outlined in state law -- unlike those of a special master.
Lawmakers say that discrepancy could leave the state vulnerable to arguments by defense attorneys representing clients charged under evidence Kimbrough unearths.
Perry spokesman Ted Royer said the governor's reasoning was sound and his executive order will stand.