The Texas Supreme Court ruled Saturday that the San Antonio Justice Charter, also known as Proposition A, will remain as one ballot in the May 6 municipal election.
The ruling came after the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life filed an emergency writ of mandamus in mid-February. The group argued that Proposition A should be split into several city charter amendments because it contains a number of policy reforms, including the decriminalization of abortion and possession of marijuana.
They said that’s a violation of state law because it’s illegal for city charter amendments to include multiple topics. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief in support of the effort
In a 6-3 decision, the court’s ruling said it rejected the Texas Alliance for Life’s petition because it had a “longstanding commitment to avoid undue interference in elections.”
Despite Prop A not being struck down before the municipal election, the court’s ruling said a potential future post-election challenge could still affect Prop A if it passed.
In response to the Texas Supreme Court’s decision, Texas Alliance for Life Communications Director Amy O’Donnell issued a statement.
“We are tremendously disappointed by the Texas Supreme Court’s decision to allow the San Antonio Proposition A charter amendment to remain on the May 6 ballot, despite clear violations of state law,” O’Donnell said in the statement. “We raised significant grounds in our briefs about how Prop A infringes on voters’ rights.”
She added in the statement that the Texas Alliance for Life would now turn to organizing voters against Prop A in the election.
In a statement released by Ground Game Texas and ACT4SA, Ground Game Texas political director and general counsel Mike Siegel said the court’s decision safeguarded democracy.
“Direct democracy is a principle that underpins our society and the court’s decision protects that principle,” he said. “The people of San Antonio have a constitutional right to amend their city charter and enact much-needed criminal justice reform. We look forward to putting this groundbreaking initiative in front of the citizens of San Antonio in May.”
Prop A would deprioritize abortion enforcement and low-level marijuana offenses, expand and codify the county’s cite-and-release program, ban warrants and police chokeholds, and appoint a city justice director to oversee the city’s justice policy, although the city attorney has said that only the justice director position can be enforced.