A federal appellate court rightly decided this week to re-hear a case on the constitutionality of the Texas Open Meetings Act.More here.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans (5th Cir.) took the unusual and laudable step of granting a petition for en banc review, meaning the full court will now consider a case that a three-judge panel of the court previously decided.
The Texas Attorney General’s office asked the court to reconsider its previous ruling in Rangra v. Brown, which said the Open Meetings Act infringed on elected officials' free speech rights by making it a crime for a quorum of them to discuss government business outside of a public meeting.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Court decides to rehear Texas open meetings law case
The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear a case on the constitutionality of the Texas Open Meetings Act that was previously decided by a three-judge court panel, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported. The ruling in Rangra v. Brown essentially said that the open meetings law was in conflict with elected officials' freedom of speech because the law made it a crime for a quorum of them to discuss government business outside of public meetings. Several friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed on behalf of the Texas Attorney General's office, which asked for the reconsideration.