|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In a story oft-reported here (see "TUOL" posts 7/29/10, 2/4/10, 12/15/09), elected officials who violate the provisions of TOMA face a $500 fine and up to six months in jail, sanctions the appellants argue violate their First Amendment rights. The officials contend the widespread use of emails and social media make it easy for elected officials inadvertently to violate TOMA.
Should the Supreme Court agree to hear the case, TOMA's backers don't sound particularly worried, according to the Globe News article. Texas' Former Solicitor General noted that the High Court has previously rejected First-Amendment challenges to Open Meeting Laws and Greg Abbott, the state's Attorney General, told the Globe News that TOMA is crucial because "[m]aking meetings accessible and allowing the public to see how decisions are made are the foundation of open government."