Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner garners Texas Supreme Court’s support in cancelling Texas GOP’s in-person convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center. On the orders of Mayor Turner, city lawyers terminated the Texas GOP’s convention contract in light of health safety issues related to the rising cases of COVID-19 infections throughout Texas.
In response to the contract termination, Texas GOP lawyers filed a lawsuit, citing breach of contract on the part of Houston City officials. Although Houston federal judge, the Hon. Judge Lynn Hughes, ruled in favor of the Texas Republican Party, the decision was later overturned by State District Judge Larry Weiman.
Texas Higher Courts Side with Houston Mayor
Judge Weiman agreed with Mayor Turner in citing the rising COVID-19 statistics as reasonable ground for the cancellation of the in-person convention at the Center. The Court of Appeals judge also cited that the impact of the rising cases is the fact that major hospitals in the city have already exceeded the capacity of their intensive care unit.
As a matter of fact, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) had asked GOP convention organizers not to hold in-person gatherings. Yet as the GOP still insisted on proceeding with the plan, TMA withdrew its sponsorship of the convention.
Still, lawyers of the Texas GOP chapter brought the matter to the Texas Supreme Court, but to no avail. The Supreme Court simply denied the GOP’s filing of an appeal to refute the state judge’s decision that barred the party from holding an in-person convention by stating that:
“While it is unquestionably true that the Party has constitutional rights to engage in electoral activities by holding a convention, such rights do not include permission to commandeer use of the George R. Brown Convention Center.”
That being the case, the Republican Party of Texas has no other recourse but to hold a virtual convention, in the same way that the Texas Democratic Party had done so in June.