Judge Holds Turner’s Action Unconstitutional; RPT Chairman Dickey Awol
Federal Judge Lynn Hughes denied Dr. Hotze’s petition for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on Mayor Turner’s ban on the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) holding the Republican State Convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The convention was scheduled to begin Thursday-Saturday, July 16-18.
Judge Hughes’ gave us very fair hearing. He understood the Constitutional issues very well and stated that Mayor Turner had denied Republican delegates First Amendment rights, but that the RPT and the Chairman of the RPT, James Dickey, had not joined the suit as plaintiffs. He asked why the RPT and Dickey had not joined as plaintiffs.
Judge Hughes said because plaintiffs had not signed the contract and that the RPT had not joined as a plaintiff, he was unable to find an equitable solution. He also said that since the RPT had already chosen to hold a digital convention, which was to start on Thursday, that he had determined that it was prudent to deny the plaintiffs’ plea for a TRO.
Dickey had been asked to join the suit and declined. Dickey could have simply intervened in the lawsuit, but he chose not to do so.
The contract lease of the George R. Brown Convention Center was between the Houston First Corporation (HFC) and the RPT. The contract had been signed by James Dickey. The contract had a force majeure clause if there was a pandemic, which if one occurred, would allow either party to the contract, to terminate the contract. At the urging of Mayor Turner, the HFC wrote RPT Chairman Dickey on the morning of July 8, asking Dickey to cancel the convention. When Dickey refused, Turner contacted David Mincberg, Chairman of HFC, a corporation formed by the City of Houston in 2011, and told Mincberg to cancel the contract. Mincberg then sent a letter to Dickey cancelling the contract.
Judge Hughes stated that this action by Turner was a violation of the First Amendment rights of delegates to the convention.
Dr. Hotze reiterated his previous statement, “Turner is a socialist, tin-pot dictator who is violating Republican delegates’ First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and to peaceably assemble. He is doing this to throw Republicans into disarray in order to aid the Socialist Democrats to turn Texas blue. This is outrageous! This follows the Marxist Communist philosophy that the end justifies the means. Turner is using the manufactured COVID-19 panic as an excuse to do his dirty work.”
Dr. Hotze also stated that, “The purpose of government is not to protect your health. The purpose of government is to protect your God-given, unalienable Constitutional rights.”
Dr. Hotze also stated, “It is it regrettable and very disappointing that the Chairman of the RPT, James Dickey, was unwilling to be a plaintiff in this lawsuit or intervene in our behalf.”
Lt. Colonel Allen West, Ret., was in court today in support of holding a live convention. West is opposing James Dickey for the Chairmanship of the RPT.
With much appreciation for your friendship, I remain, as always
Steven F. Hotze, M.D.