Case Dealing With the Right to Speak In Texas

The Texas Constitution protects the right to speak, even to speak defamatory words, although damages are recoverable for such defamatory speech. Ex parte Tucker, 220 S.W. 75, 76, 110 Tex. 335, 337-38 (1920). In Tucker, the supreme court explained this concept: There can be no justification for the utterance of a slander. It cannot be too strongly condemned. the law makes it a crime. But there is no power in courts to make one person speak only well of another. the Constitution leaves him free to speak well or ill; and if he wrongs another by abusing this privilege, he is responsible in damages or punishable by the criminal law. Id. "It is well settled that Texas courts will not grant injunctive relief in defamation or business disparagement actions if the language enjoined evokes no threat of danger to anyone, even though the injury suffered often cannot easily be reduced to specific damages." Brammer v. KB Home Lone Star, L.P., 114 S.W.3d 101, 107 (Tex. App.--Austin 2003, no pet.) Thus, even defamatory statements, with the exception of those that threaten others, are provided constitutional protection in most cases. See: Hajek v. Bill Mowbray Motors, Inc., 647 S.W.2d 253, 255, 26 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 281 (Tex. 1983) (dissolving temporary injunction as violative of article one, section eight of Texas Constitution); Brammer, 114 S.W.3d at 106-09 (modifying temporary injunction to delete portions enjoining speech based on content); Markel v. World Flight, Inc., 938 S.W.2d 74, 79-81 (Tex. App.--San Antonio 1996, no writ) (holding temporary injunction unconstitutional prior restraint on free expression); Pirmantgen v. Feminelli, 745 S.W.2d 576, 578-79 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1988, no writ) (holding temporary injunction violated Texas Constitution); Strang v. Biggers, 252 S.W. 826, 827 (Tex. Civ. App.--Dallas 1923, no writ) (affirming dissolution of temporary injunction that violated appellee's freedom of speech); Stansbury v. Beckstrom, 491 S.W.2d 947, 947-50 (Tex. Civ. App.--Eastland 1973, no writ) (dissolving temporary injunction infringing on appellant's freedom of speech).