Repealing unconstitutional laws

Often time, politicians on one side or another will oppose a law because they say it is “unconstitutional,” or propose its repeal for similar reasons thereto. But rarely will the law actually be indisputably unconstitutional. Ten years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that this State’s law against homosexual sodomy was a violation of the 14th amendment. The law against “homosexual conduct,” however, stayed on the books.

Now, there finally may be some momentum to get ride of this taint on our State. As former State Representative Debra Danburg mentioned, the effort to get ride of this ridiculous law dates back to 1975, when Mickey Leland first proposed legislation to repeal the statute. It went nowhere, as did a similar effort by John Whitmire in 1993.

However, today, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted 5-0 (still waiting on roll calls) to repeal this law, from a proposal by Jose Rodriguez. Republicans have jumped on the bandwagon of support simply in an effort to clear out the state code. The law is not legally enforceable, but this will be a good symbolic gesture to acknowledge the humanity of homosexuals.

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Teachers with guns

Senator Patrick, ladies and gentlemen! The Chronicle is reporting that the Senate has passed the infamous “give teachers guns” bill, again, with more Democrats than you would think.

SB17, which passed the Education Committee unanimously, was approved by the entire Senate in overwhelming manner (28-3). The 3 Democrats who opposed were Garcia, Watson and Jose Rodriguez. I am really happy that Garcia got in office, I feel like Alvarado would have been a pushover on things like this, for what it’s worth.

Anyways, the bill would have some school districts to send up to two teachers per school to receive special handgun training. According to the Chron article, the biggest opposition came from law enforcement officials, who believed that it could cause problems if police ever thought a teacher was the gunman.

The bill, however, would not apply to School Districts that have their own police force. I found this Trib article that says something like 160 districts have their own police force. Last time I crunched the numbers, something like 1000 school districts exist, but the vast majority don’t operate more than a few schools. So this will pretty much only apply to rural districts.