The all-Republican Texas Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the Texas Republican Party, which was seeking a ruling allowing it to hold its in-person convention in Houston this week. The move "effectively kills" the party's plans to hold the gathering as planned, reports the Houston Chronicle. Last week, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the party's contract to hold the gathering at a downtown convention center, saying that with the pandemic raging in Texas, "public health concerns outweighed anything else." The party argued that the convention was protected by the American and Texan constitutions.
The convention had been due to start Thursday and run for three days, with meetings taking place at the center starting Monday. A 7-1 court majority ruled that while the party has a constitutional right to hold a convention, it does not have the right to force the George R. Brown Convention Center to host it, the New York Times reports. "The Party argues it has constitutional rights to hold a convention and engage in electoral activities, and that is unquestionably true," the court’s majority wrote. "But those rights do not allow it to simply commandeer use of the Center." State GOP chairman James Dickey accused the Democratic mayor of canceling the convention to "disenfranchise Republicans." The state Democratic party held an online-only convention in early June. (Read more Texas stories.)