Judge Declares House Bill 2127 Void

Published on August 30, 2023

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SAN ANTONIO (August 30, 2023)  Today, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of the 459 District Court in Travis County declared House Bill 2127, the so-called super-preemption or “Death Star” bill, unconstitutional.

House Bill 2127, which was scheduled to go into effect on September 1, would have barred cities and counties from regulating within eight major areas of government without first getting approval from the Texas Legislature, which only meets every other year. These included agriculture, finance, insurance, labor, natural resources, property, business and commerce, and occupations.

San Antonio, joined by Houston and El Paso, and supported by dozens of Texas cities, sued the State of Texas to declare the statute unconstitutional because it attempted to do away with home-rule cities which were created by the Texas constitution.

“This is a win for democracy,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “The ruling is a critical step toward ensuring Texas cities and their respective residents maintain their ability to govern themselves.

“I’m encouraged by today’s decision and thank Houston and El Paso for their partnership. I’m additionally grateful for the supportive statements from Waco, Plano, Denton, and Arlington.

“The Governor and state Legislature will undoubtedly continue their attempts to thwart local control, but San Antonio will stay vigilant in its fight to protect the voice and power of our residents. I also want to express gratitude for the members of our state delegation who supported local self-governance.”

“San Antonio’s local elected officials best represent their constituents,” said City Attorney Andy Segovia. “The unconstitutionally vague language in House Bill 2127 sought to strip the power of self-government from home-rule cities and made it impossible to understand which specific city ordinances may conflict with state statutes. The ruling is a victory for San Antonio and all cities across the State of Texas.”