The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) filed an amicus curiae brief inLaredo Merchants Association v. City of Laredo, Texas which is currently before the Supreme Court of Texas. The brief opposing the City of Laredo’s ordinance that directly contradicts Texas law by prohibiting retailers from providing customers with plastic bags. In August 2016, the Fourth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Laredo Merchants Association’s case against the City of Laredo’s plastic bag ban, finding that the ordinance is preempted by existing state statute and “unenforceable as a matter of law.”

“It is black letter law that a home-rule city ordinance that attempts to regulate a subject matter preempted by a state statute is unenforceable to the extent it is inconsistent with the state statute,” said the Honorable Robert Henneke, General Counsel and Director of the Center for the American Future at TPPF. “As was recognized by the Fourth Court of Appeals, Texas state law unmistakably expresses the Legislature’s desire to preempt any ordinance that prohibits the sale or use of a container or package for solid waste management purposes. The facts of this case now before the Supreme Court of Texas have not changed, and nor should the ruling.”
“Cities don’t get to pick-and-choose which laws they follow,” said James Quintero, Director of the Center for Local Governance at TPPF. “Courts should act decisively to restore freedom in these cities.”

A to read the amicus curiae brief in its entirety, please visit:

To schedule an interview with Mr. Henneke or Mr. Quintero please contact Caroline Espinosa at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.

The Honorable Robert Henneke is General Counsel and Director of the Foundation’s Center for the American Future. 
James Quintero is director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Registration for the 2017 Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature is now open to media and the public! 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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