Another TRO Issued Against Hidalgo Councilmembers; Ordered to Mediation With Taxi Drivers

The story in Hidalgo continues to get even more interesting.  Dave Hendricks of The Monitor reports the latest here.  See my previous post regarding the serious constitutional problem with a court enjoining a legislative body from engaging in the legislative process.  I’m quoted in the article:

On July 22, Rudy Franz convinced state District Judge Juan Partida to sign a temporary restraining order against Ramirez and Sanchez, forbidding them from voting on the bus permit. When that case was removed to federal court, Rudy Franz obtained another temporary restraining order from another district judge on Aug 12.

Once again, the court blocked Ramirez and Sanchez from voting, and the bus permit stalled again.

After reviewing the initial legal filings, a Houston-based attorney called the situation “crazy” and questioned the willingness of district judges to stop local elected officials from voting.

“No federal court would ever issue an injunction against Congress and say ‘Congress can’t vote on this trade bill because some member of Congress said it would harm his business,’ and that’s exactly what happened here,” said Jerad Najvar, a Houston attorney who handles political law issues, including campaign finance and ethics.

My criticism goes to the power of the judiciary vis a vis legislative bodies in a system of separation of powers. Most people think of the separation of powers in terms of “checks and balances” among the branches of the federal government, but it is no less important in local government. It seems somebody should raise a (Texas law) constitutional objection to the injunction, and the order to mediate. This injunction, like the previous one, was issued ex parte, so it appears the defendants did not yet have a chance to answer.

Here’s the new order: 20130812 Hidalgo TRO Temporary Restraining Order Rudy Franz