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U.S. Supreme Court Turns Down Texas Lawsuit Against California Travel Ban

California instituted taxpayer-funded travel bans over LGBT discrimination in other states remains in place

By Evan Symon, April 26, 2021 10:31 am

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Texas’ case against California’s ban on state-funded businesses trips to Texas and several others states due to LGBT discrimination laws on Monday.

In 2019, California instituted taxpayer-funded travel bans to Texas and 10 other states due to those states breaking AB 1887, a law passed in 2015 that has the state “avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.” Texas was added primarily because of a 2017 law passed in Austin that allows foster care and adoption agencies to deny services for religious beliefs.

Texas immediately said that the California law was akin to “economic warfare” and was an effort to “punish Texans for respecting the right of conscience for foster care and adoption providers.”

“The law California opposes does not prevent anyone from contributing to child welfare,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in 2019. “Boycotting states based on nothing more than political disagreement breaks down the ability of states to serve as laboratories of democracy while still working together as one nation — the very thing our Constitution intended to prevent.”

Xavier Becerra
Former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

However, California immediately defended it’s action, with then-California Attorney General and current Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra saying that “California has chosen not to use taxpayer money to support laws discriminating against the LGBTQ community. Discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

With neither state budging, and other states beginning to fight back by instituting similar bans against California, Texas took the issue a step further in February 2020 by bringing the case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the State of Texas v. State of California lawsuit, Texas argued that the California law is unconstitutional due to private, faith-based foster and adoption agencies using their religious beliefs in their policies, not publicly funded organizations. Despite the lawsuit, California stuck with the decision, noting that California spending taxpayer money in Texas would non-directly be supporting those laws.

Supreme Court turns down lawsuit

Due to COVID-19 and a smaller number of Supreme Court cases being heard in 2020, the case had been delayed for possible consideration for a year. But it all ended Monday due to the court wishing not to hear the case, having California’s law stay in place by default. While two of the more conservative judges, Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, wanted to hear the case, other Justices did not agree.

“The Supreme Court can still be pretty secretive on how they do things,” said San Jose-based lawyer Annie Simmons, who has been part of teams whose cases have reached the Supreme Court, on Monday to the Globe. “Most of the time you won’t hear why they will or will not take a case. Like with the Supreme Court choosing to hear that major Second Amendment case today. You can find reasons for all of it, the new, more conservative makeup of the court being a big part of it, but you don’t hear exactly why.”

“So, while not a victory for anyone, California comes out on top, with their law standing today.”

As of Monday, the state of Texas has not announced what further action they plan to take over the California travel issue.

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4 thoughts on “U.S. Supreme Court Turns Down Texas Lawsuit Against California Travel Ban

  1. More idiocy from the leftists in Sacramento. States like Texas will simply pass tit-for-tat legislation against their tax-payer funded travel to California. Ask yourself this question: which economy is being hurt worse by these kinds of stupid policies? Hewlett Packard and Tesla have both answered with their feet – by moving to Texas.

  2. As a gay man of the Libertarian persuasion, I have mixed feelings about this – but I think it is the right decision. To be honest, most California out-of-state travel are for crony “continuing education” meetings of public officials to hob-nob and go to strip clubs and have lots of inbreeding. The worst are health researchers at the University of California, and I don’t like how they can just whip out their taxpayer credit card and put everything on an expense account all so they can go to a “conference” (i.e. sex-party for ugly public servants drinking too much alcohol).

    Texas is just upset that Californians-Gone-Wyld aren’t picking up the bar tab in Dallas.

  3. This is a First Amendment issue, Thomas. California is anti-religion as shown by Newsom’s shutdown of church services. There is another lawsuit currently being heard by the US Supreme Court where California is forcing charities to hand over the names of their donors.

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