Appeals court upholds dismissal of term limits lawsuit

Score one more for the city.

A Texas appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a lawsuit seeking to invalidate a 2015 voter-approved referendum extending term limits for city officials.

At issue in the suit was Proposition 2, a ballot measure that changed Houston’s charter to limit elected officials to two four-year terms instead of the previous cap of three two-year terms.

Community activists Phillip Paul Bryant and James Scarborough alleged in their lawsuit that former mayor Annise Parker and the city of Houston used “deceptive ballot language” to “selfishly expand term limits.”

Parker was term-limited out of office and did not receive a longer term due to the ballot referendum, which easily passed.

Eric Dick, an attorney for Scarborough, said he would appeal the case.

“I said from the beginning it’s going to be decided in the Supreme Court of Texas,” Dick said.

See here for the background, and here for a press release from the city. The court’s ruling is here, and the TL;dr version of it is “the district judge got it right when he ruled that the ballot language was sufficiently fine”. They rejected the plaintiffs’s argument that the ballot language was misleading. Obviously, the Supreme Court is gonna do what the Supreme Court is gonna do, but for now at least it’s all systems normal for this year’s election.

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4 Responses to Appeals court upholds dismissal of term limits lawsuit

  1. eric dick says:

    I represent BRYANT and not Scarborough.

    Please correct

  2. Ross says:

    @Eric, your complaint should be directed at the Chronicle, since that’s where the reference came from.

  3. eric dick says:


    They corrected it

  4. C.L. says:

    I love me a lawsuit that’s based on the supposition that the folks who voted for the referendum were just a tad too ignant and/or illiterate to fully grasp what they were voting for when it came time to check a box.

    Even better is that, apparenlty, Parker was so nefarious in her action that it effectively referendum’d her right out of a job ! Plan tre’ diabolique !

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