HOUSTON (AP) - An attorney for 15 city leaders who are suing to declare part of the Texas Open Meetings Act unconstitutional says the law infringes on the free speech rights of officials through potential criminal penalties that promote censorship.
But an attorney with the office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the act ensures the public is informed about how government operates.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Thursday in Houston in the lawsuit.
The 2009 suit is before the appeals court after a West Texas federal judge last year ruled the law doesn't muzzle the First Amendment right to free speech.
The appeals court will rule at a later date.
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