Border Security Legislative Status - 2023-03-05

Status Report on Border Security Efforts at the Texas Legislature

As I write this status report on Sunday, March 5, 2023, the Texas legislative session deadline for filing of bills by end of day, Friday, March 10 looms.  In past sessions, as the filing deadline approaches, legislative staffs put up signs on the office doors saying they are not taking any more bill filing requests, so every day matters this week.

Of all the issues I am working on this session, border security is the farthest behind.

First, let’s recognize some facts.  The federal government is not only failing to enforce federal immigration law, it is deliberately violating it in a way that uses federal tax dollars to subsidize the profits of the cartels.   These violations are enabling the deliberate fentanyl poisoning deaths of over 100,000 Americans per year.  It also enables the sexual exploitation of children and the entry into the Texas of potential sleeper foreign agents.

And worse, the billions of Texas tax dollars and deployment of DPS and Texas National Guard resources is not working to stop the devastation being wrought on Texans.  And to the degree that Texas resources are being used to assist federal agents in the illegal processing of illegal aliens, Texas taxes are also being used to enrich the cartels.

The reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court in US v Arizona that says that the federal government pre-empts state action to enforce federal immigration law has sapped the will of Texas elected officials to do what it will take to stop the devastation – to repel all border crossings that do not come through ports of entry.

The most important action – and in my opinion – the only way we will actually solve the problems is to act upon the power reserved in the Constitution to Texas to act independently to repel the danger and invasion at the border.  That reservation of power is found in Article I, Section 10, Clause 3, which says:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay. (emphasis added)

This provision allows Texas to protect Texans – without seeking the approval or allowing the intervention of the federal government.  Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 makes clear that Texas has the sovereignty to take care of the business to protect its citizens.  Sovereigns don’t seek permission.  Sovereigns act.  Especially when the servant delegated to defend you not only refuses to do so, but actually joins in the assault.

So, a Texas declaration of invasion and/or imminent danger that tells the world and the feds why Texas will be repelling all cross-border traffic outside the ports of entry - whether the feds help or get in the way – is the top border security priority of Texas Constitutional Enforcement this session.  Note that this approach is also part the RPT Border Security Legislative Priority.  And to ensure that we do this, the legislature must act.

We are being told by a state senator and a state rep that a legislative declaration is coming, but it has not been filed yet.  And we have language out of Legislative Council ready to file that will require repelling and removal of invaders if the declaration is made, but we have no legislator that has yet stepped up to file and lead on it.

The Speaker several times has publicly promised an innovative border solution to be filed soon.  I don’t know what that is, but some knowledgeable legislative players have speculated that it will be a combination of the creation of a new border security department that will take the pressure off the DPS and Texas National Guard combined with a declaration of invasion.  We will know in a few days.  By the way, I think it likely that the Texas House Freedom Caucus will play a prominent role in this effort.

The RPT Border Security Legislative Priority has two other provisions – stopping Texas taxpayer services for illegal aliens and interstate compacts to bring more resources.  There are several interstate compact bills (2 in the House and 2 in the Senate), including HB 2396 by the Chair of House Homeland Security & Public Safety, Ryan Guillen.

And we have a draft in the works to stop Texas taxpayer services for illegal aliens, but it is not yet released, and we have no one stepping up to introduce it in either chamber.

By the way, it is clear to me that there is still LOTS of constitutional ignorance at the Texas Capitol.  An SREC member told me this week that a Republican member of the Border Security Committee told him that Texas declaration of invasion would be unconstitutional because of the supremacy clause.  Clearly that Texas Senator does not understand that the U.S. Constitution makes, not the federal government supreme, but the U.S. Constitution and laws in pursuance thereof.  And Article I, Section 3, Clause 3 clearly reserves the power of Texas to act independently to protect its citizens is right there in black and white in the Constitution.

I have also been told – without any stated reasons – that “experts” are telling legislators that only the governor, not the legislature, has the authority to declare an invasion.  See this article refuting that canard.  There is not a scintilla of constitutional text supporting such a notion.  I am reminded of the Ayn Rand quote, “The question is not who is going to let me; it is who is going to stop me.”  Texans used to know that fortune favors the bold.  Is that still true? 

So, while busloads of various groups and an army of lobbyists are seeking the legislature to focus on the normal, business-as-usual issues, a very few are pushing to get substantive action on what most of Republican primary voters think is an existential threat to Texas – the border invasion.

What happens in the next few weeks will determine the fate of untold millions.  If you want to help this week, call the members of the Senate Border Security Committee and the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, especially chairs Brian Birdwell and Ryan Guillen to let them know that you want a legislative declaration of invasion and Texas to actually repel border-crossers outside ports of entry.  It will only be when the busses are heading to Mexico to remove invaders rather than shipping them to the interior of the U.S., that we will know we are starting to solve this problem.

Tom Glass
Texas Constitutional Enforcement
Email:  info at

Leg Status - 2023-02-04

Texas Constitutional Enforcement Legislative Status Report – Feb 4, 2023

When you are trying to get legislation passed in the Texas Legislature, the first month of the Texas Legislature should be spent gathering information on who is on staff for the legislators, meeting with your legislators who are your potential champions, persuading legislators to put your draft legislation into the long Legislative Counsel queue, and making sure that you have the best champions you can get for the bills you want to see passed.

In the Texas Senate, committee chairmanships and members have been assigned.  We are still waiting on Texas House committee assignments, and many House members will not decide to champion a bill until they know what committees they are on.  Right now, we are sitting at Day 26 in the 88th Legislature, and that is later than 3 of 4 of the last legislatures.  (The longest was 31 days in 2017.)

So, let’s review the top bill ideas in the Texas Constitutional Enforcement Legislative Agenda:

Right to Use Cash and Cash Substitutes Add to Texas Bill of Rights – There are lots of urgent issues for this session because there is a multi-front war on Texas.  But my personal highest priority for this session is getting this passed.  That is because I believe we will need it before the next legislative session comes around in 2025.  The Federal Reserve is already piloting its digital Central Bank Digital Currency (CDBC) as we speak.  I think we are one financial crisis away from implementation.

The good news is that we have two able champions who have said they will lead in the Senate and House.  Senator Tan Parker filed our bill last session (called HJR 100 then) when he was a State Rep, and has agreed to file it again in the Senate.  And State Rep. Gio Capriglione, who is well respected for his knowledge and leadership on monetary issues, has agreed to file in the House.  We don’t have the SJR and HJR numbers for this session, yet, but stay tuned.

Click here for more information on this bill.

Border Security – Legislative Declaration of Invasion and Statute Requiring Repel and Remove During Invasions – I have been disappointed that there does not seem to be much energy around border security so far.  But the Senate is showing leadership by appointing a new committee dedicated just to Border Security chaired by the able leader, Brian Birdwell.  The other two Republicans on the Senate Border Security are Phil King and Pete Flores.  The Democrats are border Senators, Cesar Blanco and Juan Hinojosa.  I heard last week that Senator Lois Kolkhorst has a legislative declaration of invasion in draft in Leg Counsel.  But I could find no one working on a bill to repel and remove when we declare invasion.

So, I have drafted such a bill and am circulating it, trying to get it into Leg Counsel fast, so we have a shot at getting it filed in time to be heard.  Click here to see the draft language of the required repel or remove bill. Click here for more discussion of who declares an invasion and why.

On another border security note, I have given feedback to Rep. David Spiller and Senator Bob Hall’s staff on their interstate compact companion bills (HB 82 and SB 237).  The bills contain language requiring Congressional approval for the interstate compacts (as required by Art. I, Sec. 10).  But I recommended adding language to NOT require Congressional approval if the governor or the legislature has declared an invasion because Art. I, Sec. 10 also says that it is not needed in that case.

Unalienable Right to Decline Vaccination – we have the language in Leg Counsel, but no legislator has yet agreed to champion when it becomes ready to file.  Click here for more information on this issue. 

Federal No-Knock Raid Bill -  we have an enthusiastic sponsor in the House for this bill.  It is in Leg Counsel, and I hope to announce its bill number and sponsor soon.

Texas Sovereignty Act -  this bill is farther along than we have ever seen in that it was pre-filed by both chambers.  Our champions are Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr. and Senator Bob Hall (HB 384 and SB 313).  Click here for more information. 

Rule of Law Enforcement – Big county DAs in Texas have been captured by George Soros and cannot be relied upon to enforce laws fundamental to the liberty and safety of Texans.  On top of that, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has opined that the Texas Legislature cannot delegate independent prosecutorial authority to the Attorney General on separation of powers grounds.  I am pushing the creation of a state level independent prosecutorial office under the judiciary that will have the ability to prosecute election integrity, border security-related matters, public integrity, official oppression, abortion, sedition, and riot.  At least one such bill is in Leg Counsel.  Click here for more information.

More is in the works.  But that is enough for now.

If you want to help now, contact the legislators you think might help to ask them to lead on our Border Security legislation and the Unalienable Right to Decline Vaccination.  And keep me posted on who is interested, so that I can give staffs the right documents and information.

Once bills get filed and assigned to committees, there will be lots more we all can do!

Toward liberty,


Tom Glass

Texas Constitutional Enforcement


Email:  info at

Who Declares Border Invasion?

As I have been urging Texas legislators to declare a border invasion so that Texas can actually #RepelRemove invaders and withstand a challenge to that action at the Supreme Court, the most common question I have gotten is, “When the Constitution talks about an invasion, who does it contemplate making that declaration?  The governor?  Or the Texas legislature?”

And I ran into a knowledgeable commentator this weekend who said that some people think that only the governor can declare an invasion of a state.  I disagree with that view.  Here are the reasons.

First, let’s take a look at Article IV, Sec. 4, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which says:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

This provision was put in for a situation that the framers expected, where the federal government actually wanted to do its constitutional duty.  And when a state wanted to formally ask for assistance from the federal government (at least in cases of domestic violence), the legislature was the first choice and the governor the backup.  From that angle, at least, it appears that the framers thought that the state legislatures – as the representatives of the people -- were the proper place to set policy.

Second, let’s look at the section of the Constitution which sets limits on state action, Article I, Sec. 10, Clause 3 to see what it says about this issue:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

This is the clause that tells us that Texas is free to take action without federal constraint when we are in imminent danger or being actually invaded.

Combine that with the Tenth Amendment, which says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Who decides who can declare the state in imminent danger or that it is actually being invaded?  From Tenth Amendment logic, is the federal government delegated the power to say how a state will declare an invasion or imminent danger?  Answer:  No.  Are the states prohibited from using any method of declaring invasion or imminent danger?  Answer:  No.  So, the each individual state (respectively means individually or unilaterally) has the final decision on how it will declare an invasion or imminent danger.

And there is one other perspective on who decides monumental issues like imminent danger/invasion – the Texas Constitution.  In the Legislative Department, Article 2 of the Texas Constitution, we find this:

“Sec. 62.  CONTINUITY OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS FOLLOWING ENEMY ATTACK.  (a) The Legislature, in order to insure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack, shall have the power and the immediate duty to provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices. . .”

In other words, the Texas framers put major policy decisions about governmental actions during enemy attack into the hands of the Texas Legislature.  Enemy attack sounds a lot like invasion to me.

And, who delegates emergency power to the governor in the Texas Emergency Act and the Texas Disaster Act?  Of course, it is the legislature.  The legislature has the power to set policy and create law.  It is the ultimate authority that delegates authority to others.  In our system of government, the ultimate authority is the people and their representatives in the legislature.

My bottom line is that the constitutional language leans toward a legislative invasion being preferred, but states can do what they want, and a gubernatorial declaration works, too.  Just because the president won't do his job and the governor does not do his does not take the Texas legislature off the hook.  Far from it, it puts the Texas Legislature front and center in this crisis.

Why is all this invasion discussion important?  It’s because the U.S. Supreme Court said in a case called U.S. v. Arizona that when it comes to immigration, federal law preempts state law.

This puts us in the situation where the federal government tells Texans that they are in charge of immigration, and that we cannot do anything about immigration, but then proceed to not only do nothing about violations of federal immigration law, but become active violators of the law using our tax dollars in partnership with the human trafficking business with the cartels.

Texas desperately needs a way to act to stop the imminent danger to Texans caused by federal failure.  And if we declare invasion and/or imminent danger, we are liberated to do what we need to do to solve the problem.  When someone hauls Texas into federal court over Texas doing what must be done, we will point out to the Supreme Court that we are not in immigration territory, but in invasion territory, constitutionally, and the Supreme Court is likely to agree.

Click here to see the 2023 Legislative Agenda of Texas Constitutional Enforcement.

Texas State Level Independent Prosecutor Needed

The Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) in State v Stephenson last year said that the legislature cannot delegate independent prosecutorial authority to the Attorney General (AG).

That is terrible news on several fronts. First, we are not very likely to get any substantive election fraud prosecutions out of the very places we need it, the big counties that are controlled by Soros-funded District Attorneys hostile to election integrity.

Second, the Texas Sovereignty Act as written calls for the delegation of independent prosecution of the Official Oppression Act by the AG, and that provision of the bill as written is now Dead On Arrival.

Finally, the Soros-funded DAs in big counties are not just refusing to prosecute election integrity.  They are not prosecuting a host of other laws, as well.  They let the 2020 rioters go. Some are saying they will not prosecute Texas abortion law.  We need independent prosecutorial authority delegated to some statewide figure, and the CCA says we can't use the AG for that position.

I have been talking to a number of folks about how not only will to solve the election integrity problem, but how we can expand the subject matter jurisdiction beyond election code to Official Oppression, abortion, public integrity, riot, sedition, and border-security-related crimes.

So how do we solve the problem?  A Constitutional amendment could do the trick, but that takes time we don’t have, and more importantly it requires Texas Democrat approval, something which is VERY unlikely to happen.

I want one of the following solutions:

  • State District Attorney (elected) with the limited subject matter jurisdiction discussed above and statewide independent prosecutorial power. Would want the enabling legislation to call for a special election in November, 2023 to fill the position.
  • A prosecutorial bureau – call it the State Prosecutor’s Office - under the judiciary with the limited subject matter jurisdiction discussed above that can be appointed or elected.
  • I have heard one person opine that the CCA might not accept a State District Attorney because the language of the judicial section of the Texas Constitution (Art. 5) implies without explicitly stating it, that only smaller districts for prosecutors were contemplated. That commentator said he thinks that four or five districts would pass CCA review whereas a statewide district might not.  I would be OK with that IF the districts were arranged in such a way that the large counties did not swamp the votes of the surrounding counties.  The whole reason for this exercise is to ensure that the big counties don’t stop prosecuting laws important to the security to all Texans.


Two other approaches to solve the problem have already have filed bills.  State Representative Keith Bell has introduced a bill to allow adjacent county DAs to prosecute election crimes if asked to do so by the AG. (HB 678).  And State Rep Bryan Slaton has introduced HB 125 to allow the AG to file suit against DAs who have a pattern and practice of not enforcing election crimes, allowing civil penalties. (I have been told that there is at least one Senator working on the same approach as HB 125.)

While I appreciate those attempts, I am not too excited about either approach. I favor the adjacent county approach over the lawsuits by the AG against DAs. Even if the AG prevails in court against a big county DA, forcing the DA to act, that forced, hostile DA is unlikely to do a good job, and we STILL will not produce much.

And while the adjacent county route is better than nothing, it puts too much of a burden on already stretched thin DAs in usually rapidly growing jurisdictions that have more than enough workload.  It is likely to be viewed for it is – one more unfunded mandate by the Texas Legislature on the counties.

I am shopping the three solutions above in both the Senate and the House.  I think there is broad agreement that the problem created by the CCA needs to be fixed.  I hope we can fix it AND do more to ensure that laws needed for ordered rule of law are enforced in Texas.

I welcome feedback on how we solve this problem that is vital to the security and liberty of Texans.  And I welcome any information about what legislators have what plan to solve this problem.

Tom Glass leads Texas Constitutional Enforcement ( and Texas Constitutional Enforcement groups on Facebook, MeWe, and Gab).  You can follow him on Twitter (@tomgglass) and reach him via email at info at

Texas Refusal to Assist Officers of the Union Act

As I plow through the bills filed so far, I have found another federal pushback bill filed that is solidly in our wheelhouse, HB 262 by Valoree Swanson and its companion in the Senate, SB 242, by Mayes Middleton. I call it the Texas Refusal to Assist Officers of the Union Act, hearkening to one of four methods outlined by James Madison in Federalist 46 that should be used to resist unconstitutional acts.

The bill requires the Texas Attorney General to file every month a report in the Texas Register on any rules promulgated by federal agencies that "violates the rights guaranteed to the citizens of the United States by the United States Constitution or exceeds the powers specifically granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution" and is implemented "in response to an executive order by the president." Once such rules are listed in the Texas Register, Texas state agencies and subdivisions "may not cooperate with a federal government agency in implementing . . ."

This bill has three salient differences in approach to the Texas Sovereignty Act. First, it relies on the opinion of the AG on the constitutionality of federal action rather than a standing committee of the combined chambers of the legislature and sign off by the full legislature and the governor.

Second, it narrowly focuses on federal regulations implemented in response to a presidential executive order rather than the broad focus of the Texas Sovereignty Act on all federal acts. (I hope to persuade Rep. Swanson to amend the bill to remove the narrowing provisions and go with the TSA broad federal act definition before this goes to hearing.)

Third, this bill is one of required non-assistance rather then the call to prosecute feds using the Texas Official Oppression Act. Swanson's approach is more in-line with the approach advocated by the Tenth Amendment Center. And it is one that was implemented for firearms laws in the last legislative session.

I consider this an exciting development and something this group can sink our teeth into this session.


Here is a link to the bill language:

The Boston Tea Party and Texas Resistance to the Great Reset

On the evening of December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty in Boston implemented the famous Boston Tea Party.

The action of pro-liberty forces against the property of a private corporation, the British East India Company has much relevance, today.  It has special relevance to Texans as we approach the 88th Texas Legislative session where we will try to stop violations of the natural and unalienable rights of Texans by private corporations.  The framers knew that it was not just government, but also private actors that can violate our rights.  And they had no problem with directing action against private corporations when those corporations were threatening their liberty.

The Boston Tea Party was another resistance in a series of attempts by the British Crown and its beneficiaries to rule Americans.  The Americans insisted that they had the right to self-government.

The battles began with the Stamp Act in 1765.  Sons of Liberty chapters sprung up all over the colonies and not a penny of stamp tax was collected due to resistance.  The Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in 1766, but replaced it with the Declaratory Act, stating that the Parliament “had hath, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America . . . in all cases whatsover.”  They had to show those peasants in America who was boss, don’t you know.

The Parliament followed up in 1767 with the Townshend Acts in 1767, imposing duties on a good number of products imported into the colonies.  The resistance in the form of smuggling and boycotts caused such losses for British merchants, that the Townshend duties were repealed in 1770.  All except one, that is – the duty on tea.  The Parliament still had to show who was boss.

Effective resistance continued against the duty on tea, so Parliament passed the Tea Act in 1773 granting the British East India Company monopoly powers on tea to the colonies and a cut of the duties it raised for the Crown, thereby making it not only the only legal vendor, but the lowest cost vendor, to boot.

More boycotts and resistance ensued, setting up the Boston Tea Party, where Sons of Liberty men dressed as Indians, dumped the British East India Company tea from three ships into the harbor.

Parliament reacted to the Boston Tea Party with what the colonies called the Intolerable Acts, which quartered troops in Boston, shut down the harbor of Boston, and contained other punishments for Massachusetts.  By August 26, 1774, the Massachusetts patriots passed a stirring document of resistance called the Suffolk Resolves that presaged the Declaration of Independence.  By April of 1775, the American Revolution had sparked in Lexington and Concord outside Boston.

We are in our own struggle for self-government against globalists who want to reverse the victories of the American Revolution and return to an oligarchy where they rule and we are serfs serving them.  If I have anything to do with it, Texas will continue our resistance in 2023 to those globalists and their Great Reset.

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.

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.

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

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: )

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?