In a decision that upends decades of open meetings law, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that the provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act prohibiting a government official from circumventing the Act through a “walking quorum” or “daisy chain” discussion outside of a public meeting is unconstitutionally vague.

Continue Reading Statute Making it a Crime for a Public Official to Circumvent the Open Meetings Act Held Unconstitutional

This entry comes to us courtesy of Sim Israeloff.

Many elected officials in Texas, including most who are elected to city councils and school boards, serve as citizen volunteers without pay.  Newly elected officials are sometimes surprised to find that their actions and speech are now restricted by statutes such as the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA). The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has now weighed in on whether elected officials carrying out their official duties retain the same First Amendment protections on speech as private citizens.

Continue Reading Texas Open Meetings Act vs. the First Amendment Rights of Elected Officials