Several small towns in Texas have chosen to repeal their sex offender residency restrictions, rather than face threatened lawsuits.
Richard Gladden, an attorney with Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, says state law doesn’t permit towns with populations under 5,000 from passing such restrictions.
“Unless the Legislature expressly authorizes it, a general-law municipality may not adopt an ordinance restricting where a registered sex offender may live,” according to a 2007 opinion signed by then-AG Greg Abbott, who’s now Texas governor. Larger cities fall under “home rule,” which means they have “a constitutional right of self-government,” Abbott wrote.
Texas Voices has threatened to sue 45 towns over their residency restrictions. Several have repealed their ordinances and others are considering doing so. Read more in this Dallas Morning News report.