The Texas Local Government Code provides, “An amendment may not contain more than one subject.”
In its petition, Texas Alliance for Life acknowledges that courts have allowed cities to hold elections on proposals that make multiple amendments to a city charter, but note that all were dealing with a single subject.
However, in this case, the subject matters vary from marijuana possession to abortion crimes so that residents who may agree with one issue could disagree on another, but would be forced to cast only one vote for or against the entire proposal.
In its reply brief, the city made a procedural argument that the petition should have first been presented to an appellate court before coming to the Texas Supreme Court.
Regarding multiple subjects in the charter amendment, the city argued that it “plausibly read the proposed ‘Justice Policy’ charter amendment language as relating to one subject.”
It also asserted that petitioners Texas Alliance for Life and Morris are premature in their challenge, and instead should challenge the amendment after the election should it be approved by voters.