Texas lawmakers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of an update to the state’s Bill of Rights to include the right of the people to own, hold, and use digital currencies.
Introduced by State Representative Giovani Capriglione, Bill HJR 146 states that “the right of the people to own, hold, and use a mutually agreed upon medium of exchange, including cash, coin, bullion, digital currency, or scrip, when trading and contracting for goods and services shall not be infringed.”
“No government shall prohibit or encumber ownership or holding of any form or any amount of money or other currency,” reads the document, which received 139 “votes in favor and only two against.
The Texas Bill of Rights is similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights in that it protects fundamental freedoms such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. However, it also includes provisions that are specific to Texas, such as the right to a speedy trial and the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
If passed and signed, the latest update will also give the people of Texas the right to use cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Tom Glass, the founder of the Texas Constitutional Enforcement group, said that there's "one more vote in the House on HJR 146 and then on to the Senate and a vote of the people."
Other commentators also noted that “this is the far superior approach” to combating central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as instead of banning, the bill “just makes them worthless.”
Protecting financial privacy of Texans
Glass elaborated on the Bill, saying that the objective of adding the right to own, hold, and use digital currencies to the Texas Bill of Rights "is to make a case in the federal judiciary to invoke the 9th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which says that there are other natural rights besides those in the first 8 amendments.”
Objective of adding this to the Texas Bill of Rights is to make a case in the federal judiciary to invoke the 9th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which says that there are other natural rights besides those in the first 8 amendments. If Texas recognizes, the feds should under…
— Tom Glass (@tomgglass) May 11, 2023
The Texas Constitutional Enforcement group added that the use of cash substitutes is "essential" for protecting Texans' financial privacy.
“An unstable dollar can destroy the wealth that Texans have spent a lifetime producing. Texas cannot allow global financial elites to force Texans to use and pay for their services, leaving all of their financial eggs in one basket, subject to devaluation and confiscation,” the group said in an article in support of Bill HJR 146.
It added that the people of the Lone State “cannot allow their financial privacy to be destroyed being forced into having every financial transaction they make subject to scrutiny by prying government officials, competitors, and employers.”
Texas senator Ted Cruz last month warned of risks associated with the possible introduction of CBDCs, saying that 'the same people that want to see a CBDC, they hate Bitcoin, and they hate cash."