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Relating to the prosecution of the offense of online solicitation of a minor.
No significant fiscal implication to the State or local government is anticipated.
HB 861 removes unconstitutional language from the Penal Code. We appreciate the legislature for addressing the previous action of the Texas Legislature. This bill seeks to support free speech -- one of our essential liberties.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, appointed by Ronald Reagan, said the “first amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought"(source).
Even abhorrent thoughts should be protected as free speech. Encouraging individuals to deem what sort of free speech is acceptable is supporting someone else to be seen as capable of controlling someone else's thoughts. Despite the objectionable nature of certain words, we must attempt to preserve the liberty of the first amendment. We support this bill for preserving limited government.