Bingo!

In Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars v. Texas Lottery Commission, the en banc Fifth Circuit reversed a 2013 panel opinion and reinstated a permanent injunction against the Texas Bingo Enabling Act, which “allow[ed] charitable organizations to raise money by holding bingo games on the condition that the money is used only for the organizations’ charitable purpose.”  No. 11-50932 (July 28, 2014).  The Court found that this restriction imposed an unconstitutional condition on those organizations’ First Amendment rights, and distinguished Rust v. Sullivan on the grounds that “the government  may attach certain speech restrictions to funds linked to the public treasury — when either granting cash subsidies directly from the public coffers or approving the withholding of funds that would otherwise go to the public treasury. . . . The bingo program in Texas is wholly distinguishable . . . simply because no public monies or ‘spending’ by the state are involved.”  (citations omitted).

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