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March 11, 2015

Texas Legislature Attempts to Rein-in Rogue Municipalities

 
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I'm delighted that the Texas Legislature is considering legislation designed to address a concern I described in an op/ed in the Dallas Morning News a few weeks ago: That of municipalities taking away rights and protections of their citizens by majority vote on referenda.

My favorite line from my op/ed:

If I may be permitted a bit of hyperbole, tyranny isn’t OK just because it is approved by a majority of your fellow townsfolk.

In fact, local control seems to have become a theme of this Texas legislative session thus far.

Rep. Phil King has introduced House Bill 540 would require referenda altering local ordinances to first be deemed to be according to Texas law before the referenda could proceed.

Sen. Don Huffines has introduced Senate Bill 343, which would similarly prevent municipalities from enacting ordinances that do not comport with Texas law.

It's entirely appropriate for the State of Texas to develop the means to protect Texas residents from having their fundamental rights taken away by a majority vote of their neighbors. The most important function of government is to protect the rights of the minority against the tyranny of the majority.




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