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The clear and unambiguous constitutionally-protected rights to free speech and freedom of religion should be enough to prevent any officer of government from attempting to compel a religious leader to produce a sermon transcript or recording on demand. Unfortunately, some government officials in Texas have behaved in a way that necessitates a new state law to explicitly prohibit the practice of using the subpoena power to compel the production of a recording or transcript of a sermon in a civil or administrative proceeding.
This bill supports the individual liberty of Texans by prohibiting compulsory provision of sermons in civil and administrative proceedings. Also, because this bill would not apply in criminal cases, we do not anticipate any substantive interference with the rule of law. For these reasons, we support HB 3956.