AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral argments on City of Laredo v. Laredo Merchants Association. At issue is the city’s prohibition on plastic bags for retail use.
“Citywide plastic bag bans are bad for business and even worse for the rule of law,” said James Quintero, who leads the Think Local Liberty project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “In Austin for example, some businesses lost money because of the city’s misguided bag ban. In 2015, one North Austin HEB reported losing ‘between $60,000 to $70,000 per week in revenue’ as shoppers went elsewhere outside the city limits. Frustratingly for this HEB and others, this situation should have never come about because state law prohibits this particular brand of local government overreach.”
The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s filed an amicus brief arguing that Laredo is subject to the rule of law and cannot infringe on what the Legislature has expressly and definitively removed from it’s authority.
In August, the 4th Court of Appeals rulied in favor of the Laredo Merchants Association, finding tthe ordinance is preempted by existing state statute.
“As was recognized by the 4th 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,” said Robert Henneke, general counsel and director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “It’s time for all municipalities maintaining a similar bag-ban ordinance to respect the rule of law and withdraw this illegal regulation.”
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Alicia Pierce at email@example.com or 512-472-2700.
The Honorable Robert Henneke is general counsel and director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
James Quintero leads the Think Local Liberty project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin. The Texas Public Policy Foundation aims to advance a societal framework that effectively fosters human flourishing based upon cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and speech.
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