Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Federal Appeals Court: Freedom of Speech is not Freedom to Cahoot

Only in Texas.
Only in Texas will we have a bunch of local elected officials band together to get the Texas Open Meetings Act, an act that has well-served the public since 1967, overturned on the basis of the 1st Amendment.
Freedom of Speech.
That’s right. In a case recently laughed out of the 5th District Court of Appeals, a three-justice panel affirmed a lower court ruling that the Texas Open Meetings Act does not discriminate against elected officials and their freedom of speech. That is, TOMA puts an undue burden on the ability of elected officials to cahoot in private.
Transparency in government dealings are all about what the Texas Open Meeting Act is about, and prevention of just the sort of chicanery that was being contemplated by the plaintiffs.
In its opinion the court "labeled the officials’ arguments 'nonsensical' and said open meetings laws are intended to promote good government, not thwart free speech."

 "Nonsensical." I like that.
But that in a nutshell is what it’s like to live in Texas sometimes. Sometimes it seems like the whole state is a mental ward and the inmates are in charge.

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