Texas Supremes Deny Uber

Ballot language to remain the same

Texas Supremes Deny Uber
Illustration by Jason Stout

On Monday March 14, the Texas Supreme Court denied the Uber-backed writ of mandamus from Samantha Phelps, which requested an emergency stay to require City Council to rewrite the ballot language for the May 7 ordinance regarding transportation network companies (TNCs).

The Court’s decision did not include any explanation of their reasoning or anything other than a denial of the emergency stay. (See "Dueling Ballots" to compare the May 7 ballot language with that which was proposed by Ridesharing Works for Austin when the petition was submitted.)

Phelps told the Chronicle, “Austinites need to know that this is not about regulation versus no regulation, like the ballot language suggests. It’s about which policies to include in that regulation that best benefit Austin.”

While background checks will still be in place if the ordinance passes, the ordinance would repeal the proposed mandatory fingerprinting for TNC drivers, as taxi and other drivers already have to do.

In response to the Court’s denial of the emergency stay, Council Member Ann Kitchen, who has pushed for more regulation of TNCs, told the Chronicle, “The Council respected the petition process and voted to call a May election. When we did that we made every effort to ensure the ballot language fairly represents the petition. Today the Supreme Court denied Uber’s attempt to overturn that language.”

For more on this story, see "Uber Supporter Goes to Court," March 10. This article appeared in the March 18 print issue under the headline "Uber Supporter Denied at Court."

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