THE WIN! (AT LEAST FOR THE MOMENT)
Today, we are happy to announce that Judge Livingston in Travis County ruled in favor of the Open Meetings Act and Amy Hedtke and against Rep. Byron Cook today, issuing a temporary injunction that enjoins him and all his agents from further interfering in the peaceful recording of his committees by the use of Facebook or other means.
To read the ruling: Temporary Injunction Enjoining Cook
What this means in practical terms is that we must deposit $100 as a cash bond to make the injunction effective, and Rep. Cook as to follow state law during the special session without pretending that he can make whatever decision about recording that he feels like, and we have a traditional law suit to resolve the dispute.
HOW WE GOT HERE.
During the hearing last week, both sides made the expected arguments. We argued that the Texas Constitution did not trump the Open Meetings Act, and all four attorneys on the other side argued that it did.
Because Rep. Cook answered the application for a temporary injunction the morning of the hearing, we asked for an opportunity to respond, and filed additional argument and evidence (really just a copy of an older Attorney General opinion).
AND IN CASE YOU ARE NEW TO THIS STORY…
This case began after Amy Hedtke was arrested for recording during one of Cook’s committee meetings. She was charged with criminal trespass, taken to jail and horribly treated…all because she had the temerity to record a public meeting of the Texas House State Affairs Committee on March 22, 2017.
DECEMBER 2017 EDIT: Rep. Cook and the other defendants have appealed the injunction. It will be 2018 before this case is decided.