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In a Blow to Local Government, Texas Supreme Court Strikes Down Plastic Bag Ordinances

June 26, 2018

Texas Observer,


June 22, 2018-

Are you a Texan who hates having to take reusable shopping bags on your grocery run? Rejoice, for your time has come. After a new Texas Supreme Court ruling, your store could soon be stocked with all the plastic bags your heart desires. Want to double-bag that lollipop? Go for it! Hell, triple bag it. In the last decade, at least 11 Texas cities — including Fort Stockton, Austin and Brownsville — have enacted laws banning single-use plastic bags at retail stores. The Laredo Merchants Association challenged Laredo’s ordinance in 2015, arguing that its ban was out of line with state law.

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the trade group, striking down plastic bag bans across the state. The ruling is the latest volley in state leaders’ escalating war on local control. When Denton passed an ordinance to ban fracking in 2014, the Legislature stepped in, banning all bans on fracking to avoid what Governor Greg Abbott called a “patchwork of local regulations.”

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