OPEN MEETINGS ACT CHALLENGE SET FOR ORAL ARGUMENT
Last year, the plaintiffs in a case challenging the constitutionality of the criminal penalty in the Texas Open Meetings Act appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The case is styled Diana Asgeirsson v. Greg Abbott and the State of Texas and is commonly referred to as “TOMA II.” It is the second challenge brought by several city councilmembers, who argue that the criminal closed meeting provision of the Act unconstitutionally infringes on their right to freedom of speech. The trial court ruled that the Act is a constitutional “time, place, and manner restriction.”
Oral arguments will be heard at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2012, in the south courtroom of the 1910 Federal Courthouse, which is located at 301 Fannin Street in Houston. Those with an interest in the actual arguments being made (rather than the media’s published rhetoric) are encouraged to attend.