Protecting our privacy from federal bureaucrats
Privacy has always been important to Texans – from government officials’ snooping to citizens choosing to be anonymous.
Privacy is a fundamental right in our state’s common law and in our state constitution. That means the government cannot trump or invade our privacy without a compelling state interest to do so – not just any reason, but a compelling reason – and the government has no other alternative available to get the information it claims to need.
That is why both the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution require probable cause and a warrant from a court, except in an emergency, to intrude upon our privacy.
Since frontier times, Texans have cherished and insisted on their privacy and their anonymity. For Texans, not only was this part of rugged individualism and innate distrust of government, but it was part of their desire to start over in their lives and live the way they wanted.