A proposed Texas law, nicknamed the “Death Star law” and supported by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, has been deemed unconstitutional by a Texas judge due to its effects on local ordinances and regulations.
The New Law
In June, Governor Abbott signed a law that caused a lot of controversy as it stopped cities in Texas from making their own rules in areas like government, finance, and work.
A New Name
The law was given the name “Death Star” law because some critics thought it gave too much power to the state government and made it harder for cities run by Democrats to make progress.
In response to criticism about the law, Governor Abbott said, “Texas small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Burdensome regulations are an obstacle to their success.” and “I signed HB2127 to cut red tape and help businesses thrive.”
However, a judge named Maya Guerra Gamble disagreed and said the law went against the Constitution.
In response to this decision Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner posted, “HB 2127 was a power grab by the Legislature and an unwarranted and unconstitutional intrusion into local power granted to Houston and other home-rule cities.”
Effects on Economy and Cities
Mayor Turner and others believed that this law was hurting Texas because it made it harder for cities to help the state’s economy.
He said that cities like Houston, San Antonio, and El Paso have “long been the drivers of the State’s vibrant economy,” but this law was making things difficult for them.
Another Abbott Controversy
This is not the only controversy currently surrounding Gov Abbot.
He has also come under fire for implementing large, razor wire-topped buoys placed around the coast of Texas to prevent immigrants from coming into Texas and have injured several people.
Author of the Law’s Opinion
The person who made the “Death Star” law, Republican Rep. Dustin Burrows, didn’t agree with the judge. Burrows posted, “The judgment today by a Democrat Travis County District Judge is not worth the paper it’s printed on.” and “The Texas Supreme Court will ultimately rule this law to be completely valid.”
Burrows’ Business Court
After this post, he also mentioned the desire of some businesses to have their own private court, stating, “I now better understand why the business community was clamoring for the creation of specialized business courts to ensure our state’s laws are fairly upheld and our justice system is preserved.”
A Judge like Micheal Scott
Since the decision, Burrows has even reposted on X, “The Travis County judge’s ruling is like Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy. Since there is no injunction, Texans should not be deterred from availing themselves of their rights when the Texas Regulatory Consistency Act goes into effect.”
Legal Battle Continues
The Texas Attorney General’s office didn’t like the judge’s decision either and quickly made a statement saying they would fight against it.
This made the law go into effect, even though many people still disagree with it.
Local Attorney Weighs in
In response to the law’s proposal, Houston City Attorney Arturo Michel told The Texas Observer, “For 100 years, cities have had home rule powers, the power of self-governance, under the state constitution, that does not require the legislature’s permission to pass laws,” and “The state is trying to turn that on its head.”
The law also came under fire as a heatwave went across Texas and this law would overturn ordinances that created labor protections such as mandated water breaks for outdoor workers.
A Union Against the Law
In response to the decision, the labor federation Texas AFL-CIO tweeted, “This is a HUGE win for the working people of Texas, local govs, and communities across our state” and “While we expect an appeal, it remains clear this law is an unacceptable infringement on the rights of Texans and cities.”
Views on Democratic Cities
While many support the judge’s decision, many critique it in the current states of many democratic-run cities within the united states. One social media user stated, “Democrat lead cities will cause the ruination of America if not kept in check!”
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