(TargetLiberty.org) – California is a state that does not tolerate the beliefs of others well. This is demonstrated by its travel ban. Now, Texas is fighting back.
Where it Began
In 2016, California lawmakers passed a travel ban that prohibits state-sponsored or funded travel to certain states. It was passed in response to North Carolina’s bathroom bill that required people to use the bathrooms that corresponded with the sex they were born with. In 2017, Attorney General Xavier Becerra decided Texas should be added to the list along with other states like Alabama.
What was Texas’ crime? They enacted a religious freedom law, House Bill 3859, that protected faith-based organizations that care for children.
For example, Christian organizations could deny referrals for abortion-related contraceptives, devices, or drugs. They could place children in religious schools and refuse contracts with others that do not hold the same beliefs. Opponents said the bill would discriminate against gay parents. However, the bill required faith-based organizations to refer families who they turned down based on their First Amendment rights to other agencies that would help.
California, angry over the bill, prohibited state-sponsored travel to Texas. It was a broad ban that covered not just state departments but also athletes. It also prohibits California State University and the University of California officials from spending government money on travel expenses, too.
Texas Fights Back
After more than two years, Texas has finally had enough. This week they filed a lawsuit in the US Supreme Court calling the California law discriminatory.
In the lawsuit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the ban is essentially “economic sanctions.” He said that his state loses money in hotels and other businesses because of the Golden State’s law. Paxton also said the ban violates the interstate commerce law and discriminates against its residents because of their religious beliefs.
In a news release, Paxton said, “Texas respects and honors the religious beliefs of its citizens. California lawmakers do not.”
It’ll be interesting to see if the Court agrees to hear the case, especially with Trump’s appointees. They’ve already shown they aren’t shying away from big fights and this could very well be the next big religious liberty case they hear.
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