A Texas Tea Party Group is suing Brazoria County officials for allegedly kicking them out of their meeting place in the local county court house. According to the lawsuit, the Alvin Tea Party Patriots had been holding meetings in a public space allotted by the court house for at least the past three years. Their meetings had occurred in an annex of the building.
The ABA Journal reports that District Attorney Jeri Yenne had claimed that the Texas Constitution “does not allow private groups to use county facilities,” and that all public spaces aside from the county fairgrounds would be restricted from access by outside groups. The lawsuit against the county claims that Yenne’s justification for removing the Tea Party group is a misinterpretation of the law, as other groups, including the Alvin Republican Women, have also used the facilities since the tea party group was kicked out.
“We believe that the court, once faced with the violations of the Constitution as shown, will do the right thing and allow the Tea Parties to once again use the county facilities as before and will not force the waste of county funds to defend the indefensible before a judge,” a portion of the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit also claims that other counties throughout Texas, including nearby Galveston County, allow Tea Party groups to use county facilities for their meetings. Many view the removal of the Tea Party groups in Brazoria County as a strategic political move enacted by “traditional” Republicans in order to maintain control of the GOP. The lawsuit did not receive a response from the county and after 60 days, the plaintiffs requested a permanent injunction against the defendants, the Houston Chronicle reports.