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These Are The 2023 Texas Laws That Have Been Blocked Or Challenged By Lawsuits

This year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed controversial bills into law. Some of these bills are not in effect because they are being challenged by lawsuits, while others are in effect but still the subject of litigation.

According to a report by the Dallas Morning News, these are the priority bills passed this year that have been blocked or are being challenged by lawsuits.

Border Buoys – In Effect Amid Appeal

State troopers installed a floating barrier on the Rio Grande border with Mexico near Eagle Pass as part of Abbot’s billion-dollar Operation Lonestar.

The Justice Department sued Texas over the buoys, saying the floating barrier violated an 1899 federal ban on construction in a navigable river without a federal permit. Two trial courts ruled in favor of the Justice Department.

Abbott appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, often cited as one of the most conservative in the country, but a three-judge panel still ruled against Texas. After that, Abbott said he would appeal to the full 5th Circuit before going to the Supreme Court.

Drag Show ban – Blocked

This law blocked sexually explicit performances in front of minors. While it did not focus on drag, its supporters said it would ban drag shows in front of children.

Under this law, any violation would be classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine for individuals; for businesses, the fine could be up to $10,000.

In September, a federal judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it violates the free speech rights of drag performers and could lead to the blocking of cheerleading or theatrical performances.

Texas is currently appealing to the 5th Circuit.

Ban on Gender Affirming Care – In Effect

This law blocked transgender minors from accessing hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and transition-related surgeries.

The law goes against the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.

A Travis County judge temporarily blocked the law in August, but Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed to the state Supreme Court, which overturned the injunction.

Death Star Bill – In effect

The Regulatory Consistency Act, known as the Death Star Bill, aims to prevent cities and counties from enacting local ordinances that go beyond existing state law in areas such as agriculture, business and commerce, finance, insurance, labor, local government, natural resources, occupations, and property.

Houston city attorneys sued Texas over the law, claiming it was unconstitutional, but Paxton appealed to the state Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Texas.

READER Act – In effect during appeal

House Bill 900, known as the READER (Restricting Explicit and Adult-Designated Educational Resources) Act, blocks sexually explicit books in schools.

The bill requires each district to determine which books are allowed in schools and requires booksellers to issue ratings for books with sexual content.

Booksellers sued the state in federal court, and a judge granted a preliminary injunction. Texas appealed to the 5th Circuit, which ruled in Texas’ favor, but a review by a three-judge panel is still pending.

More recently, Abbott signed a bill that would authorize state and local police to arrest migrants and local judges to order them to leave the country. The American Civil Liberties Union, along with other civil rights groups and El Paso County, filed a lawsuit against the state, saying only the federal government has authority over immigration laws.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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