ASNE opposes Texas lawmakers claiming open meetings law violates their free speech
- By: ASNE staff
- On: 11/02/2011 12:40:00
- In: Freedom of the press
ASNE has joined an amicus brief in a case that we hope will end six years of federal litigation on the Texas Open Meetings Law.
ASNE has joined an amicus brief in a case that we hope will end six years of federal litigation on the Texas Open Meetings Law. Asgeirsson v. Abbott is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which must decide whether the state law unconstitutionally prevents city council members in Abilene from speaking anonymously or freely associating with each other on legislative matters. ASNE and 25 other media companies and organizations joined a brief drafted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press arguing that open meetings laws are a manifestation of our country's dedication to open government, and that they are legitimate “time, place, and manner” restrictions that require legislators to communicate in public absent an applicable exception. If open meetings law challenges are upheld on First Amendment grounds, the brief predicts, government officials will respond by meeting and negotiating in secret.