UPDATE: Federal appeals court now says in-person Texas GOP convention can’t happen

City to appeal judge's ruling allowing Texas GOP convention
City to appeal judge's ruling allowing Texas GOP convention

HOUSTONUPDATE: Mayor Sylvester Turner on Saturday morning said a federal appeals court halted a judge’s ruling Friday permitting the Republican Party of Texas to proceed with an in-person convention.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Friday’s ruling allowing the Republican Party of Texas to host an in-person convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

On Friday, Judge Lynn Hughes, of the Southern District of Texas, had ordered that the city of Houston violated the GOP’s constitutional rights by canceling the convention.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston First canceled the contract with the Texas GOP, citing health concerns amid the coronavirus. The convention was initially set to run from Thursday to Saturday.

PREVIOUS STORY: A federal district judge ruled Friday that the Texas Republican Party can host an in-person convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center, according to attorney Jared Woodfill. The ruling allows the convention to proceed this weekend or next.

Judge Lynn Hughes, of the Southern District of Texas, ordered that the city of Houston violated the GOP’s constitutional rights by canceling the convention.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston First canceled the contract with the Texas GOP, citing health concerns amid the coronavirus. The convention was initially set to run from Thursday to Saturday.

After much debate, the Texas GOP moved its convention online Thursday. However, due to technical difficulties, the party was forced to postpone the event. On Friday, the party joined conservative activist Steve Hotze’s lawsuit, who initially filed the lawsuit against the cancelation with other plaintiffs.

The Texas GOP is currently discussing whether or not to resume plans for an in-person convention in Houston.

Mayor Turner’s office released the following statement after the ruling:

“We are in the midst of a pandemic, a public health crisis. More people are being admitted to our hospitals and ICUs, and more people are dying. The State Republican Executive Committee is being totally irresponsible in continuing to push for an indoor, in-person convention.

“This reflects a total disregard for the health and safety of employees and people in our city. After denying the Republican Party’s request for a temporary restraining order, the federal judge late Friday evening apparently has changed his mind.

“Upon receiving a written order from the federal judge, the City of Houston and Houston First will appeal.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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