What do we do when the federal government violates the Constitution every day in myriads of ways?

Enforce the Constitution!

Texas officials should honor their oaths to defend the Constitution by stopping the feds when thy commit unconstitutional acts.

The Constitution Cannot Protect Us Unless We Protect the Constitution.

The root cause of our political problems is that no one is enforcing the Constitution.  The federal government engages in multitudes of activities not delegated to the feds in the Constitution.

Constitutional Enforcement  -  Our Path Back to Constitutional Government

Texans know that an out-of-control federal government will destroy us.  An insatiable federal government will never limit itself.  We can only restore our Constitution, our liberty, our state, and our union by enforcing the Constitution to stop unconstitutional federal acts.

Texas is the only power that can stand up to federal tyrants to save our Constitution.  We have to persuade Texas officials to honor their oaths and stop the feds as the commit unconstitutional acts.

An act by a fed under the color of unconstitutional law is null and void.  Attempted enforcement by feds violates the Texas Penal code, including the Texas Official Oppression Act.

The Constitution is not a self-enforcing document.  We have to take action here in Texas to stop the destruction of our liberty.

The Supreme Court is not protecting the Constitution!

Art. VI of the Constitution says that it is the Constitution that is supreme - not the Supreme Court or the federal government.  Art. VI also requires EVERY member of government to swear an oath to support the Constitution.

The way we protect the Constitution is to convince our local and state governmental officials - including law enforcement - to stop unconstitutional federal acts.


Resistance to tyranny was the spirit of the founders that created our liberty.  Jefferson said, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."  Texas was born in that spirit:


Actions needed for enforcement:

  • Urge our Sheriffs, DAs, AG, and governor to take action to stop unconstitutional acts in Texas.
  • Urge all Texas officials to not implement unconstitutional acts.
  • Encourage Texas officials to exercise independent judgment about constitutional meaning.
  • Pass Texas legislation to streamline formal declarations of federal unconstitutionality by any branch of state government. (See Texas Sovereignty Act)
  • What's New

    Texans Draw Line in Sand over Vax Mandates

    This week could go down in Texas and American history as the week the tide turned in the global advance of tyranny into Texas.

    I have often wondered what issue would be the flash point to activate Texans to draw a line in the stand and tell the collectivists and the cronies and the globalists that they will advance no further in taking the liberties of Texas.

    We have now seen the issue that has mobilized Texans to take the stand – federal vaccine mandates.

    A combination of pressure on the governor by the voters, the grassroots, the State Republican Executive Committee and lots of voters, the grassroots, and the cancellation of large numbers flights by Southwest Airlines caused the governor to realize that great damage is being done to the lives, businesses, and economy of Texas by the collision of two forces:

    1) the 10 to 20% of the workforce of Texas that is willing to be fired from their jobs to not take the jab; and

    2) the president of the United States declared intention to dictate that different sets of Texas employers be fined if they do not do the dirty work for the feds and fire employees who decline the jab.

    The problem for employers is that if they agree to do the dirty work of the feds, they lose the best of their work-force and their ability to meet the needs of their customers.

    Texas businesses and employers are already suffering from supply-chain shortages, making it difficult for them to do business. What many are realizing this week – certainly the governor is realizing it - is that when most Texas businesses lose 10 to 20% of their brightest employees, the economy of Texas will tank even more, causing untold billions in damage to our economy, our supply chain, and destroying even more lives, livelihoods, and fortunes in Texas.

    If you have read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, this is a real world playing out of “Going Galt” in 21st century Texas.

    This is an inflection point in the history of Texas and America. The words of Samuel Adams come to mind, and perfectly fit this time:

    If we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom. It is a very serious consideration that millions yet unborn may be miserable sharers of the event.

    This afternoon and evening, October 13, 2021, the House State Affairs heard testimony on the bill Chair Chris Paddie chose to address the governor’s call on stopping COVID vax mandates. The portion of the hearing I heard told me that many of the old school legislators, especially Chris Paddie and the very vocal Democrats on the State Affairs Committee do not understand that we are not in a business as usual situation. The hired lobbyists of the business interests in Texas, especially the health care industry was lockstep in the notion that they were willing to violate the rights of Texans to avoid trouble from the feds, but clearly not understanding that the workers of Texas make it where they CANNOT do the dirty work of the feds and remain unscathed.

    Texas businesses are damned if they do the dirty work of the federal government because they lose their ability to do business. And they are damned if the resist the federal government – at least they think they are.

    I once had the executive of a top American corporation that he had learned that if you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t, you are strangely empowered to do the right thing. And if you do the right thing and persuade others of the moral strength of your vision, you are more likely to win and get out of the dilemma.

    In case you did not know it, Texas businesses and managers, the right thing to do in this situation is to fight the feds to stop them from telling you how to run your business.

    And our Texas legislators right now, need to hear from all of us that the right thing for them to do is 1) to stop Texas employers from violating the unalienable rights of Texas workers to decline vaccination; and 2) to stop the feds from violating the rights of Texas businesses and Texas workers via any type of vaccination mandates.

    Let us address the unalienable right to decline vaccination first. We are blessed in America with a document that tells us the fundamental principles upon which we are founded – the Declaration of Independence. It says that we “are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights” and that governments – especially our governments – are instituted to “secure these rights.”

    Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary tells us that unalienable means “that may not be transferred.” In other words, unalienable rights cannot be bargained away. An unalienable right is violated if a contract is made that requires that the right be transferred away in exchange for something else.

    The framers also believed that private actors could violate rights as much as government. And they saw their role as securing rights from both private and governmental actors.

    When it comes to real and personal property, being able to exchange it honors the right. The right to property is alienable. But rights having to do with bodily autonomy are unalienable. Rights like the right against involuntary servitude, the right against sexual harassment, the right against cruel and inhuman punishment all are unalienable, and employers are prohibited from violating those rights in Texas.

    The right to decline vaccination falls solidly in line with those other unalienable rights, and it is the violation of the right to decline vaccination that is causing the problems for Texans and our economy. Benito Juarez said, “the basis of peace is the respect for rights.” No justice, no peace. There are sufficient numbers of Texans now, that our economy will back in the saddle until the feds (and Texas employers) stop the war on the unalienable rights of Texans.

    HB 155 by Tom Oliverson, heard October 13 in State Affairs says that no Texas establishment (private or governmental) may not require a COVID-19 vaccination “to enter or gain access to, receive a service from, or be employed by” that establishment. He put a private right of action in court against establishments violating this statute that allows “injunctive or equitable relief or for compensatory or punitive damages.” His bill actually allows employer mandates, but requires them to accommodate exceptions for natural immunity, medical reasons, religious or conscience reasons. He thinks that by carving out exemptions in Texas law, that the feds, when they actually get around to formulating the rules to implement the president’s dictates, will allow those exemptions in Texas law.

    During the hearing, we heard the lobbyists say that businesses don’t want mandates from either Texas or the feds, but they were opposed to the bill because they figured resistance is futile against the federal government. We heard medical service providers say that they fear that the new conditions put into Medicare and Medicaid mean that stopping them from getting paid by those federal programs.

    We heard Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) say that Texas workers would just abuse the enforcement provisions of the lawsuit to shake down Texas businesses, so no protection of the unalienable right should even be attempted. (By that TLR "logic", we should get rid of laws against employers discriminating on race and sexual harassment.)

    We heard soon-to-be-retired Chair Paddie express reservations about the bill. He also expressed that he did not see why we needed to act quickly.

    In other words, the establishment of Texas thinks this is business as usual.

    The people of Texas and the governor know it is NOT business as usual.

    It appears to me that the legislature, especially the State Affairs Committees of both the House and the Senate and especially Chair Chris Paddie of the House State Affairs need to hear from you that this is NOT business as usual. That the Texas economy and the lives of Texans are being destroyed NOW. And we need action to stop the rights violations by employers and the tyranny by the feds NOW. And that we respectfully ask them to vote FOR HB 155.

    At the end of the evening, Rep. Oliverson said that he would modify the bill in hopes of getting more support from the State Affairs Chair, the State Affairs Committee, and the House as a whole. Revise penalties in lawsuits. Work on conscience exemption. Work with healthcare industry to carve out exceptions for businesses that serve immuno-compromised patients.

    Note that whether a bill passes in the next week or not, I think that Texas worker resistance will make compliance painful to both the employers, the Texas economy, to the feds, and to our military readiness. If the state legislature will not help us, we move to the counties, including our county prosecutors using the Texas Official Oppression Act (Texas Penal Code 39.03) to prosecute federal agents who try to enforce the federal mandates. That will further stop the feds from messing with Texas employers and Texans in general.

    Continue reading →
  • The Suffolk Resolves

    On August 26, 1774, the leaders of Suffolk County, Massachusetts (which included Boston) and surrounding counties gathered at what they called the Suffolk County Convention of the Committees of Correspondence to discuss what to do about the dire situation facing them.

    The situation indeed was dire.  Ever since the end of what the Americans called the French and Indian War in 1763, the Parliament and King in Britain had been trying to repay their debts for the war from taxes collected in America and more importantly to deny the self-governance of the colonies, exerting their absolute power to tax and regulate the people of the colonies in America.

    This history of Massachusetts from 1765 through 1774 was a series of British taxes and liberty deprivations, each resisted by the colonists, resulting in brief respites only to see another round of tyranny spring up again.  Each worse than the last.

    It went from the Stamp Act in 1765 to the Townshend Acts in 1767, to military occupation of Boston in 1768, to the Boston Massacre in 1770, to the Tea Act of 1773, leading to the Boston Tea Party.

    In response, the empire really struck back, passing from March to June of 1774, multiple laws to deny liberty to the colonists.  The Brits called them the Coercive Acts.  (Evidently, they had not figured out how to lie with the name of legislation, yet.)  The colonists called them the Intolerable Acts.

    The Intolerable Acts closed the port of Boston until the colonists reimbursed the British East India Company for the tea dumped during the Tea Party.  They revoked the charter under which Massachusetts was formed and put Massachusetts directly under the dictatorial control of the British government.  All local leaders were to be appointed by the colonial governor, parliament, or the king.  They moved any trials of governmental officials out of Massachusetts back to England.

    The convention was a discussion about what to do about the Intolerable Acts.  The people of Massachusetts, especially of Boston and Suffolk County were living under a military dictatorship.  They were denied a substantial part of their previous livelihoods, and the leaders were increasingly facing the prospect of being arrested for speaking out against the deprivation of the liberty of the people.

    On September 6, 1774, Dr. Joseph Warren introduced a draft of resolves for the convention.  By September 9, the Suffolk Resolves were completed and approved and rapidly circulated around the colonies.  By September 17, the First Continental Congress endorsed the Suffolk Resolves.

    The Suffolk Resolves were a wonderful mix of statement of first principles, an explanation of why they were acting, and detailed acts of resistance planned.

    The Suffolk Resolves were essentially constitutional enforcement.  They declared the Intolerable Acts to be violations of the natural rights, the British Constitution, and an illegitimate assault on their own local government’s foundational document – the Massachusetts Charter.  And then they said how they were going to resist.

    While maintaining the fiction that the king was unaware of the acts of his ministers and Parliament so that they could profess allegiance to the king, the authors of the Suffolk Resolves made it VERY clear that they would not submit to rule by Parliament or the king that violated natural rights, the British Constitution, or their basic colonial charter.

    When you stand up to a bully, what happens next depends on the bully.  He can back down . . . or he can double down.  Bully George III was not going to back down.  He doubled down by instructing the colonial governor of Massachusetts to clamp down hard on the colonists and their leaders, sending more troops and three highly respected generals to help in the crackdown.

    That, of course led to Lexington and Concord and the battle of Breed’s Hill in which the author of the Suffolk Resolves, Dr. Joseph Warren gave his life for our liberty.

    Here is a link to the text of the Suffolk Resolves.  It is well worth every American’s time to read the stirring, clarion call for liberty by those who stood and fought for our liberty.

    Here are my favorite parts, partly because they challenge us to think about our own dire situation, and what we should do:

    Preamble:  Whereas the power but not the justice, the vengeance but not the wisdom, of Great Britain, which of old persecuted, scourged and exiled our fugitive parents from their native shores, now pursues us, their guiltless children, with unrelenting severity; and whereas, this then savage and uncultivated desert was purchased by the toil and treasure, or acquired by the valor and blood, of those our venerable progenitors, who bequeathed to us the dear — bought inheritance, who consigned it to our care and protection, – the most sacred obligations are upon us to transmit the glorious purchase, unfettered by power, unclogged with shackles, to our innocent and beloved offspring.

    On the fortitude, on the wisdom, and on the exertions of this important day is suspended the fate of this New World, and of unborn millions.  If a boundless extent of continent, swarming with millions, will tamely submit to live, move, and have their being at the arbitrary will of a licentious minister, they basely yield to voluntary slavery; and future generations shall load their memories with incessant execrations.

    On the other hand, if we arrest the hand which would ransack our pockets; if we disarm the parricide who points the dagger to our bosoms; if we nobly defeat that fatal edict which proclaims a power to frame laws for us in all cases whatsoever, thereby entailing the endless and numberless curses of slavery upon us, our heirs and their heirs forever; if we successfully resist that unparalleled usurpation of unconstitutional power, whereby our capital is robbed of the means of life; whereby the streets of Boston are thronged with military executioners; whereby our coasts are lined, and harbors crowded with ships of war; whereby the charter of the colony, that sacred barrier against the encroachments of tyranny, is mutilated, and in effect annihilated; whereby a murderous law is framed to shelter villains from the hands of justice; whereby that unalienable and inestimable inheritance, which we derived from nature, the consti­tution of Britain, which was covenanted to us in the charter of the province, is totally wrecked, annulled and vacated, – posterity will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy; and, while we enjoy the rewards and blessings of the faithful, the torrent of panegyric will roll down our reputations to that latest period, when the streams of time shall be absorbed in the abyss of eternity.

    (OK, I admit it.  I had to look up “parricide” which is a person who kills his relatives.  They were deliberately pointing out that Americans were the kin of the British and how wrong the Brits were to be treating the Americans so.  And, I had to look up “panegyric,” which is elaborate praise, usually at a festal meetings.)

    These are my favorite of the resolves:

    Resolve 2: That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves, and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power, to maintain, defend, and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties for which many of our fathers fought, bled, and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations.

    Resolve 3: That the late Acts of the British Parliament for blocking up the harbor of Boston, and for altering the established form of government in this colony, and for screening the most flagitious violators of the laws of the province from a legal trial, are gross infractions of those rights to which we are justly entitled by the laws of nature, the British Constitution, and the charter of the province.


    Resolve 4:  That no obedience is due from this province to either or any part of the Acts above mentioned; but that they be rejected as the attempts of a wicked Administration to enslave America.


    Resolve 11:  That whereas our enemies have flattered themselves that they shall make an easy prey of this numerous, brave, and hardy people, from an apprehension that they are unacquainted with military discipline, we therefore, for the honor, defense, and security of this county and province, advise, as it has been recommended to take away all commissions from the officers of the militia, that those who now hold commissions, or such other persons, be elected in each town as officers in the militia as shall be judged of sufficient capacity for that purpose, and who have evidenced themselves the inflexible friends to the rights of the people.; and that the inhabitants of those towns and districts who are qualified, do use their utmost diligence to acquaint themselves with the art of war as soon as possible, and do for that purpose appear under arms at least once every week. (This led to the creation of the Minutemen that played such an important role seven months later.)

    Note that this meme is not a direct quote of Warren or the Suffolk Resolves.  It is, rather, a wonderful, pithy summary of them that I discovered in the highly recommended and wonderful work of historical fiction called “The Adversaries: A Story of Boston and Bunker Hill” by Ned Ryan.

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  • Texas Legislative Executive Overreach Limitations Status Report

    Texas is watching this legislative session to see whether our legislature will insure that the tyranny in the name of COVID that Texans endured this last year will never again be repeated in Texas.

    Texans do not believe the big lie perpetrated by the establishment that dictatorial power saves lives during a pandemic.  We know that dictatorial command and control destroys lives and livelihoods and it kills people.  We know that freedom provides Texans the flexibility to adapt to what nature throws us.  Freedom allows us to take the risks we want in light of our own circumstances, life goals, and risk tolerances and it allows us all to maximize the happiness for ourselves and our families.

    We want our government to surge resources where they are needed during a disaster and to provide information to us so that we can make decisions for our families that we think will best help them survive and thrive.

    We recognize that the Texas Constitution does not allow dictatorial action during emergencies.  We understand – as the framers of the Texas Bill of Rights understood -- that if bad actors in government think they can gain complete control of us during emergencies, they will manufacture emergencies to get that control.

    If there is a watchword for where we go in the future, it has to be, “A government’s GOT to know its limitations.”

    We know that the Texas Bill of Rights is a list of limitations on government power during an emergency.  We liked the first sentence written by the Texas Supreme Court on those limitations as COVID progressed, “The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.”  But we were disgusted when that very court has used procedural dodges to allow the executive branch at multiple levels to violate numerous provisions of the Texas Bill of Rights during this last year.

    So, how are we supposed to fix this for the future?  The legislative answer lies primarily in what we do about modifying the statute called the Texas Disaster Act (Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code), which the executives in Texas at the state, county, and municipal levels claimed was a delegation of power to them by the legislature during a disaster.

    Two issues not mentioned often enough are: 1) the executives seized power way beyond that delegated by the Texas Disaster Act, and 2) the executives seized power that violated the natural rights of Texans protected by the Texas Bill of Rights.  The whole idea of natural rights and the protection of them in Bills of Rights is that NO actor in government can violate them.  In other words, delegation of the power to violate the rights of Texans to an executive is not the legislature’s to give.

    The Texas Disaster Act is a delegation of power during disasters to executives to take immediate action needed to protect the lives and property of Texans.  But, because we know that the list of limitations in the Texas Bill of Rights tends to be ignored and not protected during disasters, we must add more clear, written limitations in the Texas Disaster Act’s delegation of power.  If that means we have to write in some of the limitations in the Bill of Rights into the Texas Disaster Act, so be it.  Obviously, when it comes to limiting government, you have to repeat yourself to be heard.

    So, what limitations do we need to explicitly write into the Texas Disaster Act for the future?  Consider this to be the wish list for what legislation we need to see come out of this legislative session:

    • Lockdowns never again – they destroy livelihoods and dreams and fortunes and violate the natural right to earn a living, assemble, and due course of law.
    • Government should never intrude between a patient and a health care provider or presume to privilege patients with one disease over another – how many people died from lack of treatment for cancer and other diseases due to ham-handed efforts to open up beds in hospitals for COVID?
    • Don’t mess with Texas churches – never again violate the rights of Texans to worship or assemble.
    • Don’t mess with Texas firearms or firearms availability.
    • No mandatory vaccinations – the natural and unalienable right to refuse vaccinations should not be infringed. Unalienable rights cannot be bargained away, and therefore vaccinations cannot be made a condition of employment, travel, education, governmental service, etc.
    • No mask mandates by government – mask mandates falsely presume individuals to be guilty of being a threat to others without even a chance of proving innocence, thereby violating the most fundamental premise of due course of law. They are based on junk science and do not work, and Texas government should never again foist this placebo, feel-good sham on the public.
    • No creation of tort liability by government bureaucrats – make sure that it is very clear that a bureaucrat’s opinions about what is best do not become a duty in Texas tort law that must be complied with to avoid civil liability.
    • If legislators are going to delegate power to the executive to suspend laws, guidance as to limits and purpose must be included in the delegation – Art. 1, Sec. 28 only allows the legislature to suspend laws. If that clause of the Texas Bill of Rights means anything, it must mean that any delegation has guidance and limitations.
    • Open ended criminal penalties in the Texas Disaster Act must be removed altogether or any penalties therein assigned to specific acts – defining a criminal penalty and allowing a future dictator to make up any act he or she wants use the punishment on is a quintessential violation of the Article 2 separation of powers provision of the Texas Disaster Act.
    • State agencies should not be turned into armed, enforcement officers for executive edicts in the future.

    If these limitations are added to the Texas Disaster Act, the worries about a governor becoming a dictator will be far less.  But there is one more structural change needed to procure liberty for our posterity.  We need to get the legislature quickly involved in decision making in widespread disasters.

    So where are we so far this session in progress toward this vision?

    SB 1025 by Senator Birdwell has passed the Senate and is now in the House State Affairs Committee.  It does a number of things, the most significant of which is that it insures that executive action will never again create lockdowns in Texas.  It also implements a proposed constitutional amendment to require legislative action to extend widespread disasters (or emergencies) beyond 30 days.

    SJR 45 by Senator Birdwell is the proposed constitutional amendment that requires legislative approval to extend a widespread disaster or emergency beyond 30 days.  Constitutional amendments require 2/3 approval in both chambers and a vote of the people.  The governor has no say in the process of amending the Texas Constitution.  I expect that the House will provide an overwhelming bi-partisan vote for this proposed amendment.  It passed the Senate with only one vote in opposition.

    Companion bills SB 18 (Brandon Creighton) and HB 1500 (Cole Hefner) have passed their respective chambers with only a small difference in wording between them.  They limit future executives from messing with guns, gun sales, and shooting ranges in future disasters.

    Companion bills SB 26 (Angela Paxton) and HB 1239 (Scott Sanford) limit future executives from closing or limiting the capacity of places of worship.

    HB 3 was planned by House leadership to be an omnibus bill limiting executive overreach, but despite its limitations on firearms and religious gatherings and an attempt to address civil liability, the grassroots viewed it as a bill that ratified and codified what happened, falling far short of what was needed to prevent future executives from engaging in tyrannical acts.  The outcry about HB 3 was so great, that the consensus at the Capitol is that it is dead.  Therefore other vehicles will be used to achieve limitations on future executives during disasters.

    So, how do we get more than just a call of the legislature after 30 days of widespread emergencies, and limitation on lockdowns, firearms restrictions, and infringement on religious liberty?

    Most political players realize that the only legislative vehicle where additional limitations can be added as amendments is SB 1025 as it moves through the House.  The firearms and religious liberty bills are single topic bills that make amendment under parliamentary rules difficult.  Only SB 1025 is broad enough in scope to allow amendment at this stage of the game.

    As of this writing, Senator Birdwell has not yet found a House sponsor to steward SB 1025 through the House.  I am told that he expects to negotiate that by the middle to end of next week (April 23).

    It is time to start talking to motivated House members or the House sponsor to prepare amendments for SB 1025.  I certainly plan to do that!  An engaged grassroots still has the ability to improve that bill to get us to what we need to protect the liberty of our posterity in Texas.


    Tom Glass

    Texas Constitutional Enforcement


    Continue reading →
  • Executive Overreach Path Forward

    I write this to engage the grassroots of Texas in a conversation about how we can achieve meaningful legislative limitations on executive action during future emergencies – especially pandemic emergencies - during this legislative session. I am writing primarily because in the next few weeks, we have a narrow window to influence where legislation designed to stop executive overreach will go.

    What is our Goal?

    Before I dive into the details of legislative strategy, let me articulate, based on conversations with a number of grassroots leaders, what we are trying to achieve. We want delegation of emergency power to the governor that allows him to surge resources to first responders, but we do NOT want the governor to think he has the ability to assume lawmaking or dictatorial power that violates the natural rights of Texans during emergencies.

    One of the great disappointments of the last year’s COVID tyranny is the slowness with which the judiciary has engaged to stop the violations of the natural rights of Texans protected by the Texas Bill of Rights. But the very first sentence issued by the Texas Supreme Court on the first issue relating to COVID was, “The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.In re Abbott, Case No. 20-0291, April 23, 2020.

    And of course, Article 1, Sec. 29 of the Texas Bill of Rights says, “we declare that everything in this “Bill of Rights” is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate . . .” What this means is that NO branch of government has the power to violate the natural rights of Texans, even during an emergency. Therefore, the legislature does not have the power to delegate to the governor something which they, themselves, do not have.

    The bottom line lesson that we should have learned during this past, dark year is that not only is most of what was done via executive order in Texas unconstitutional, the orders actually hurt Texans more than the disease in whose name the orders were issued.

    The flexibility of freedom allows us to cope better with what nature throws at us than command and control. Dictates from on high destroys lives, livelihoods, and happiness.

    The bottom line on what we need for future emergencies is less open-ended power delegation and more explicit limitations on whatever emergency power is granted from the legislature to future executives.

    Toward that end, the following limitations are needed on grants of emergency power in the future:
    No open-ended criminal penalties with unlimited, fill-in-the-blank acts defined by future executives. If separation of powers means anything, it means that the executive does not get to make up what acts are to be punished in the future. The open-ended criminal penalties in the existing Texas Disaster Act need to be repealed, and no open-ended criminal penalties should be defined in any new statutes. “Force and effect of law” language in the Texas Disaster Act is a lie. There are no magic words that turn the definition of a criminal act by the executive into
    No governmental triage or interference between health care providers and patients – health care professionals have the training, experience, and knowledge of the facts on the ground to determine who should get medical treatment in high demand situations.
    The following violations of natural rights and the Texas Bill of Rights cannot be delegated by the legislature and must be explicitly limited in any legislative grant of emergency power:

    1. Lockdowns of businesses or public meetings or business capacity limits – violation of natural right to earn a living, freedom of assembly, or worship. State regulatory agencies should also be stopped from issuing lockdowns or capacity limits.
    2. Mask mandates on individuals or to businesses – violation of due course of law – presuming all to be guilty of being a threat to others.
    3. Mandatory vaccinations – violation of natural right to control one’s own bodies and health.
    4. Firearms and ammunition sales – violation of natural right to keep and bear arms.

    No change of election laws by the Secretary of State – this violates separation of powers and has been proven to damage election integrity in other states.
    No implicit or explicit creation of additional duties in negligence law – when providing safe harbors for businesses during a pandemic, be clear that bureaucratically created standards do not create any new duties in tort law.
    Legislative involvement in the extensions of certain types of emergencies - If the previous limitations are codified, the need for a special legislative session to address emergency powers should be far less than it has been over the last year. Depending on how that is implemented, that may or may not need a constitutional amendment.
    Explicit statements of standing and instructions to the judiciary for expedited review for challenges to acts of the executive claiming to act under grants of emergency power.
    Delegated emergency power should be managed by the governor – we do NOT want every mayor and county judge becoming local dictators during emergencies.

    Legislative Lay of the Land and Strategy

    Despite a number of bills being filed, House leadership tells us that they plan to use one omnibus legislative vehicle for executive overreach during this legislative session – HB 3, authored by Calendars Committee Chair, Dustin Burrows.

    As originally filed, and even with modifying amendments embodied in the committee substitute (CSHB 3) that was heard in the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday, March 11, the grassroots were rightfully opposed. The bill’s architecture was to create a chapter in the Texas Government Code for pandemic emergencies that duplicated the grant of power for other emergencies in the Texas Disaster Act. The bill then added three limitations from the beginning: no violation of gun rights and religious liberty, and liability protections for business.

    The problem with the bill is that it left out all of the other limitations mentioned above, implicitly codifying and ratifying the medical intervention, lockdown, and mask tyranny of the past year.

    The originally filed bill did nothing to allow legislative involvement in response to the emergency in between regular sessions. The committee substitute included a specially appointed legislative committee with oversite over the governor during pandemic emergencies. This half-way measure was wholeheartedly rejected by the grassroots.

    At the hearing, Chair Burrows said as he laid out the bill that he welcomed input on how to improve his bill. Upon consideration, I realized that given the architecture of the bill, we could make it into a good bill by, in most circumstances, adding to the limitations of the grant of power to the bill. So, I wrote up eight amendments to that effect and submitted them to Chair Burrows that implemented most of the limitations mentioned above. (See: https://www.txce.org/proposed_amendments_to_cshb_3 )

    On, Tuesday, March 23, I met with Chair Burrows to discuss my amendments and his bill. He told me that he had already asked his staff to incorporate some of my limitations (including the mask mandate). And that he welcomed proposed floor amendments from the list I proposed that he chose not to add now. He also said that he was unsure whether he should proceed with moving the bill because the grassroots have been so effective in their criticism of the bill, that he thinks its passage may now be difficult without grassroots help. He said that he is fairly confident that if he does not proceed with HB 3, that other bills filed in the House will not get the traction they need in time to make it through the legislative gauntlet.

    He said that given his understanding of Senator Birdwell’s bills on executive overreach that the constitutional amendment for legislative oversite of declared emergencies would not pass the House.

    I decided to do two things after the meeting. First, I have been talking to a few grassroots leaders that have been active on executive overreach and in opposition to HB 3 to see if they are willing to work with Burrows and the full House to try to fix HB 3 with my and a few other amendments. Second, I have talked to Senator Birdwell’s staff, urging two things – 1) that Senator Birdwell start a conversation with Chair Burrows over how to hammer out something that both can sign on to, and 2) about adding the key points of our vision to his bill.

    Senator Birdwell’s staff told me that indeed, they are working on committee substitutes of their own for HB 1025 and SJR 45. Those committee substitute bills (which are as of this writing are not available) will be heard this coming Wednesday, March 31 in the Senate State Affairs Committee that Senator Birdwell Vice Chairs. They also told me that they would talk to Senator Birdwell about doing what he can to start thinking about the end game with the House on executive overreach legislation.

    Senator Birdwell’s bills take a different architectural approach to Chair Burrows.  I am eager to see whether his approach will address the limitations on future emergencies that we need to get implemented.

    I am of the opinion that if the grassroots stays engaged with Chair Burrows and HB 3, that it indeed can become a good bill.  I am of the opinion that Senator Birdwell has the ability to deliver a good bill that can meet the objectives above, too.  I think we need to keep an open mind, be willing to negotiate, and stay alert as we go through the process of this complicated process over the coming weeks.

    I welcome feedback.  Do we need to stay involved in trying for a good bill this session?  Is that possible?  Is my strategy of staying engaged and pushing in both the House with HB 3 and in the Senate with SB 1025/SJR 45 sound?

    Continue reading →
  • Proposed Amendments to CSHB 3

    After listening to the Texas House State Affairs Committee testimony about Committee Substitute HB 3 on March 11, 2021, I will be submitting on behalf of the Texas Constitutional Enforcement eight listed amendments below.

    Click here for current CSHB 3 text.  Click here for a PDF version of the proposed amendments below.  Click here to see the archived video of the hearing.  The layout, discussion, and testimony began at about the 2:20 timestamp and goes for well over 6 hours.  The citizen testimony began around time stamp 5:39.  My testimony can be found at time stamp 5:52.  These amendments address my comments and the testimony of others.

    A lot of the discussion focused on how to get the legislature involved to reign in the governor or other executives if they become dictatorial.  I came up with my best solution on that in Amendment 7.  But I realized that most of the destruction wrought in 2020 was because there were not enough explicit limitations on the delegation of power to the executive in the original Texas Disaster Act.  Most of these amendments fix that problem by insuring that future executives will not think they have the power to become dictators or violate the natural rights of Texans as they assist our health professionals cope with increased demand.

    Amendment 1 – Prohibition of Command and Control Interference Between Patient and Doctor 

    Idea:  Many people testified about how the edicts by the governor to health care facilities to stop “elective” surgery in an attempt to free up space for anticipated COVID patients had the effect of causing deaths from other diseases like cancer that could have been avoided if not for the edict.  Sadly, it has been reported that many health institutions lost money due to these edicts because COVID demand did not materialize and desperately needed resources went un-utilized.

    The irony of this action is that while the propaganda was telling people to trust the experts, the government denied health care professionals with the most medical training and experience as well as the knowledge of the demand situation on the ground to make the decisions they were best suited and situated to make.

    The medical profession is trained to handle triage in high demand situations.  Command and control in such situations kills people.  Government’s role in high demand situation is to help surge resources – including personnel, housing, and PPE to meet demand.  If it tries to manage demand or privilege those with one disease over another, the deaths it causes can be higher than that caused by the pandemic.

    Government can legitimately help surge resources to meet demand for health care services, but it cannot legitimately or effectively tell health care service providers how to do handle a surge in demand, or impose dictatorial restrictions of natural rights in an attempt reduce demand for health care services.

    Suggested Amendment:  In Sec. 418A.004, add the following limitation:

    (11)  permit any governmental official to instruct a health care facility or professional to give preference for one patient or disease over another or defer treatment to some to free space for others.  Triage in high demand for health services is the responsibility of the provider, not government.



    Amendment 2 – Prohibition on criminal penalties with blank-check crime definition

    Idea:  If Article 2, the Separation of Powers provision of the Texas Constitution, means anything, it means that the executive cannot define the criminal act via executive order to which a statutorily pre-defined criminal penalty is applied.  Combining the definition of a crime with the enforcement of that crime into one branch is a quintessential violation of separation of powers.

    Saying that prohibition of an action to which a criminal penalty is attached is not a law, but has the “force and effect of law” is a deceptive sleight-of-hand.  A definition by an executive of prohibited action to which a criminal penalty is assigned is a rotten rose that by any name smells as foul.

    No open-ended criminal penalties should be included in either HB 3 or the original Texas Disaster Act.

    Removing the open-ended criminal penalties from HB 3 and the Texas Disaster Act will do more to stop future tyranny than any other legislative action.

    Suggested Amendment:


    2.      Strike in its entirety, Sec. 418.173 - PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN.


    Amendment 3 – Lockdowns Never Again 

    Idea:  It is lockdowns that created the economic damage and destruction of livelihoods, life savings, businesses, and dreams of millions of Texans, destroying the Texas Miracle. Lockdowns are tyranny that violates the individual, natural rights protected in the Texas Bill of Rights that “shall forever remain inviolate.”  No branch of government, executive or legislative has the power to impose lockdowns. As such, any response to this past year must clearly and unambiguously prohibit future lockdowns. Looking back, statistics now show that the only thing lockdowns flattened were liberty, lives, livelihoods, and health care. 

    Suggested Amendment:  In Sec. 418A.004, add the following limitation:

    (12)  permit any governmental official to force a closure of the business or limit the capacity of use of a business.


     Amendment 4 – No Mask Mandates 

    Idea:  Mask mandates violate due course of law as protected in Article 1, Section 19 of the Texas Constitution.  A fundamental principle of due course of law is presumption of innocence until guilt is proven.  Mask mandates presume everyone guilty of being a contagious threat to others, even though only small fractions of the population might be unknowingly dangerous to others.  Mask mandates build the presumption of guilt into the definition of the crime when there is no probable cause for such presumptions. Mask mandates are implemented in a way that disrespect many individual’s real inability to wear them. Mask mandates are based on junk science.  Although theories abound about why they help, the actual controlled tests of mask usage and actual statistical comparisons between similar demographic regions with different mask policies show no appreciable benefit from mask mandates, Mask mandates would never pass a scientific reliability causation challenge in a tort case in Texas. Mask wearing creates psychological and physical trauma in many. 

    Suggested amendment:  In Sec. 418A.004, add the following limitation:

    (13) permit any governmental official to impose mask mandates on the general public or fine businesses for not imposing mask mandates in their facilities. 


    Amendment 5 – No forced vaccinations / immunizations 

    Idea:  Every person has the natural, unalienable right to refuse vaccination.  Explicit prohibition of the power to force vaccination or make vaccination a condition of the provision of governmental service, travel, or employment should be included in the bill. 

    Suggested amendment:  In Sec. 418A.004, add the following limitation: 

    (14)  permit any governmental official to force any individual to be vaccinated or to make vaccination a condition of travel, employment, or provision of any governmental service. 

    And, in Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 81.  Communicable Diseases, Subchapter E.  Control, Section 81.085 Area Quarantine; Criminal Penalty, Subsection (i) shall be stricken as follows:

    (i)  On request of the department during a public health disaster, an individual shall disclose the individual's immunization information.  If the individual does not have updated or appropriate immunizations, the department may take appropriate action during a quarantine to protect that individual and the public from the communicable disease. 


    Amendment 6 – No delegation of modification of election law to the Secretary of State

    Idea:  Article 2, the Separation of Powers provision of the Texas Constitution prevents the legislature from delegating the power to modify election law to the Secretary of State.  It is bad enough to delegate such power to an elected governor.  It is even worse to delegate to an unelected executive.

    Suggested Amendment:  Strike in its entirety, 418A.103.  LIMITATION ON ALTERATION OF VOTING PROCEDURES. 

    And, in Sec. 418A.004, add the following limitation:

    (15) delegate to any governmental official the authority to modify the Texas Election Code.


    Amendment 7 – Extension of Pandemic Disaster Beyond 30 Days Requires Legislative Approval 

    Idea:  Require legislative approval to extend a Pandemic Disaster beyond 30 days and prevent the call by the governor for a pandemic disaster that is the same or substantially similar to any declared disaster within the preceding 12 months. Stating this that simply forces the governor to call a special session under pre-existing rules if he thinks a Pandemic Disaster needs to be renewed or restarted for the same disease. This approach does not need a constitutional amendment and does not require a Pandemic Disaster Legislative Oversight Committee. 

    Suggested Amendment:   Remove Section 1 (which creates the Pandemic Disaster Legislative Oversight Committee) of the current CSHB 3 in its entirety. And, replace Sec. 418A.053 with the following: 


    (a)       The governor by executive order or proclamation may declare a state of pandemic disaster if the governor determines that a state of pandemic disaster is occurring in this state or that the occurrence or threat of a pandemic disaster is imminent, and may terminate the pandemic disaster via executive order or proclamation if the governor determines that it is no longer needed.

    (b)       A state of pandemic disaster may not continue for more than 30 days unless renewed by the legislature.

    (c)        The governor may not declare a state of pandemic disaster based on the same or substantially similar finding for which a state of pandemic disaster was declared within the preceding 12 months.

    (d)       An executive order or proclamation issued under this section:

    (1) must include:

    (A) a description of the nature of the pandemic disaster;

    (B) a designation of the areas affected or threatened; and

    (C) a description of the conditions that caused the pandemic disaster or allowed the termination of the pandemic disaster; and

    (2) must be posted on the Internet website of the governor ’s office and any state agency whose authority is affected by the order or proclamation.

    (e) The governor shall:

    (1) promptly disseminate an executive order or proclamation by any means intended to bring its contents to the attention of the public; and

    (2) unless the circumstances related to the pandemic disaster prevent or impede the filing, promptly file the order or proclamation with:

    (A) the division;

    (B) the secretary of state; and

    (C) the county clerk or municipal secretary in each  area  in  which  it  applies.


    Amendment 8 – Explicitly state that a Pandemic Disaster does not create a new legal duty in a negligence claim 

    Idea:  Prohibit anyone from thinking that the declaration of a pandemic disaster creates any new legal duty for a negligence claim. 

    Suggested amendment:  In Sec. 418A.004, add the following limitation: 

    (16)  create any new legal duty for a negligence claim.

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  • Tommy Howe
    commented 2018-11-04 10:26:16 -0600
    I just joined and I am looking for the petition to sign….where is it?
  • Von Arney
    commented 2018-05-25 09:09:44 -0500
    My heart sings because we have a chance for States and We The People to take back their rights, stop National intrusion into State affairs.

    God Bless Texas and the men and women leading this charge.

    This fight can be won.

    Join the fight and be a part of history.