Hey, does anyone know the current status of the Texas Mass Gatherings Act Chapter 751 HSC since the US District Court out of Dallas declared it unconstitutional in the Zen Music Festivals, L.L. C. v. Stewart case? Our County Judge was looking at that statute because of certain annual gatherings our county has become home to and when I began to check on things, I came across this case from 2002/2003. I have been unable to find where the Legislature addressed any of the issues raised in that case in either the Regular or any special sessions in 2003/04 . Any help anyone can provide would be appreciated.
Posts: 83 | Location: Caldwell,Texas,USA | Registered: June 09, 2003
by the way, the actual court ruling, while appearing on the surface to be a victory for the ZENNERS, has a little stinger for mass gathers----read the requirements that the court found to still be enforceable that are in the TAC. So while under the district court opinion, some Zenners or whoever can argue that they may not necessarily have to get a permit--and that issue will still be further debated in upcoming events---those TAC requirements are still enforceable and are worth a careful look.
As an update, on July 23, 2004, the federal district court in the Northern District modified its stance on the First Amendment constitutional issue of the TMGA where it had previously invalidated the statute on its face, and has now ruled that the statute itself is not facially unconstitutional. The Court did speculate that while it may be possible to abuse the statute in such a manner that might give rise to an "as applied" challenge in the future under the right set of facts, this was not the issue currently before the court. As a result, the district court rendered final judgment against plaintiff's constitutional challenges and upheld the statute.
My office authored a bill (HB 2291) which was filed by our state rep during the 78th legislative session. I testified to the House County Affairs committee for our bill and it was very obvious that the state reps were more concerned about keeping their special interest groups happy than amending the current language of the statute. Our bill died in that committee.
Other bills that were filed were HB 389, HB 2205, and SB 1566. They all died too.
Posts: 151 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 14, 2001