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

The more time you spend studying City of Dallas v. Dallas Morning News, the more I.Q. points you lose.  This case may be more important for what it doesn’t answer than for what you hope it will answer. 

The primary issue in this appeal is whether e-mails that are sent to and from private e-mail addresses of the Mayor and other city officials and which involve matters of official public business, are public information and subject to the Texas Open Records Act.

Continue Reading Open Records Act and its Application to E-mail