Local Control or Abdication of Individual Rights? 9-17-2016
Summary: A growing number of Texas municipalities are passing so-called "nanny state" restrictions and regulations that may interfere with Texans’ personal liberties, property rights, and livelihood. Advocates of these types of regulations defend them by citing a theory of “local control,” which posits that government works best when it is closest to the people. Our republic is founded upon the notion that all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people. Some say the notion of local control being anything other than a specific grant of authority from the state government is a misunderstanding of federalism. This could lead to "grassroots tyranny" in which individual liberties of Texans are encroached by local government. Should the Legislature enforce strict limits on municipalities or should it defer to the will of a geographical majority? How can the Legislature reassert its primacy as the state’s lawgiver and defender of individual liberty if existing statutes are overlooked by the courts? In short, this panel will discuss a theory of local control and determine whether the Texas Legislature has abdicated too much lawmaking authority to political subdivisions throughout the state. -- This panel took place on September 17, 2016, during the Second Annual Texas Chapters Conference in Austin, Texas. The theme for the conference was "The Separation of Powers in the Administrative State". -- Featuring: Hon. Phil King, Texas House of Representatives, District 61; Dean Andrew P. Morriss, Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Dean’s Endowed Chair, Texas A&M University School of Law; and Hon. Don Zimmerman, Council Member, District 6, Austin. Moderator: Hon. Michael Massengale, First Court of Appeals, Texas. Introduction: Mr. Roger Borgelt, Principal and CEO, Borgelt Law. Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society.