A federal court has decided to uphold the Texas Open Meetings Law.

The three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a group of local officials from across the state Tuesday.

The local officials argued that the Open Meetings Act stifled their free speech because it prohibits government officials from gathering to deliberate secretly.

A U.S. district judge disagreed and ruled against them back in 2009, which led to them filing an appeal, but the appeals court affirmed the district court’s ruling.