Texas is unconstitutionally infringing upon the First Amendment in the form of its overly restrictive drone regulations. While the state originally set out to create a robust privacy law providing maximum protection to its citizens, its overbroad statute instead produced the latest constitutional conflict between two of our nation’s oldest and most sacred rights. For almost a decade, Texas drone law stood unchallenged, garnering the state a reputation as arguably the least friendly jurisdiction for drone journalism. These regulations, however, have never been more vulnerable. There is a constitutional challenge unfolding in federal district court that, if successful, will redefine the scope of freedom of the press in Texas. While the state’s goal of safeguarding Texans’ privacy is admirable, there are better ways to accomplish that goal than what is currently employed. The First Amendment protects perhaps the most inalienable right of American citizens. If that is to remain the case, Texas drone law must be changed.
Edward W. "Ted" Tooley, The Drone Star State: How a Challenge to Texas Drone Law Became the Latest Battleground Between the First Amendment and the Right to Privacy,
J. Air L. & Com.