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Speaker’s statute tossed

Texas Politics brings the news.

A 1973 state law banning organizations or “groups of persons” from contributing “anything of value” to influence the election of Texas House speaker is unconstitutional, a federal judge said today.

Read the ruling from U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks.

A coalition of groups from the political right and left joined to filed the suit earlier this year.

“While the ACLU, the Free Market Foundation and the Texas Eagle Forum disagree on many issues, we are delighted that our united opinion on this unconstitutional law prevailed,” said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Lisa Graybill in a news release.

“This victory secures the rights of every citizen in Texas to be free to speak their mind about the speaker of the House race without the fear of being thrown into jail,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Free Market Foundation.

Some background on this can be found here and here. As I said before, while we may as not have this law if we’re not going to enforce it, I think it’s a bad idea to not have it. I think the free speech argument is absurd. The only entity that is interested in this is the lobby, and their ability to express themselves is just fine, thanks. I hope the next Lege takes another shot at this.

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One Comment

  1. woscholar says:

    Seriously, do you think Craddick will allow it to come to the floor? It makes him even more powerful without the law. Don’t think he is not aware of that.