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Posts under ‘Legal matters’

Feds respond to request for delay of immigration appeal

Counterpoint: It was the federal government’s move Tuesday, and the U.S. Department of Justice asked the court to reject Texas’ request for a 30-day extension to file its brief in the case, but says it is open to an eight-day delay if the response is “physically on file” at that time. A full delay could […]

Planned Parenthood sues Texas

Here we go. Planned Parenthood’s Texas affiliates on Monday filed a federal lawsuit to keep state health officials from booting them from the state’s Medicaid program. Following Texas’ announcement in October that it would stop funding any care for poor women at Planned Parenthood clinics — a response to what state officials called “acts of […]

State wants delay on immigration appeal

Of course it does. The Texas Attorney General’s office is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for an extra 30 days to respond to the Obama Administration’s appeal of lower court rulings that have blocked controversial changes in immigration enforcement. The move could affect the timing of a final decision on the program, known as Deferred […]

Obama appeals immigration order ruling to SCOTUS

As expected. The Obama administration on Friday asked the United States Supreme Court to review a federal appellate court’s ruling that struck down the president’s controversial immigration program. The request comes exactly one year after the program, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, was announced by the president. […]

Lawsuit filed over term limits referendum

As if on cue, the following hit my inbox on Wednesday afternoon, from Eric Dick: Phillip Paul Bryant is filing a lawsuit to invalidate Proposition 2 because the ballot language misled Houston voters. Annise Parker and the City of Houston have a history with misleading voters when it comes to ballot language. Indeed in 2015 […]

SCOTUS to hear HB2 appeal

Gird your loins. Setting up what could be a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a legal challenge to Texas’ 2013 abortion law, which could shut down about half of the state’s 19 remaining abortion clinics. The restrictions, passed as part of House Bill 2, would require that Texas […]

Fifth Circuit denies Obama immigration executive order appeal

Alas. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has once again ruled against the Obama administration’s controversial immigration program, upholding a lower court’s injunction barring the plan from taking effect while awaiting the outcome of a full trial on the lawsuit’s underlying arguments. The policy, called Deferred Action for Parents of […]

HBU contraception lawsuit goes to SCOTUS

Here we go. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether religious nonprofits should be required to provide birth control benefits to female employees even if the employers object to certain contraceptives on religious grounds. The court announced Friday that it would consider a case brought by East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University against […]

We still can’t get new maps

Seriously? To avoid confusion and uncertainty, the state’s 2016 elections for Congress and the Texas House will proceed under the current political maps, a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio said late Friday. The court previously approved maps for use in Texas Senate races, but the lines for congressional and state House districts remain under […]

Do homeschoolers have to actually teach anything?

That’s a real question being asked of our State Supreme Court. In an empty office at the family’s El Paso motorcycle dealership, Laura McIntyre says her nine kids were learning. McIntyre’s brother-in-law says they were singing and playing instruments. Learning was unnecessary, one of the children allegedly said, because “they were going to be raptured.” […]

Lawsuit against Uptown line dismissed

We haven’t heard the last of this, of that you can be certain. A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a dedicated bus lane project in Houston’s Uptown area, but the ruling is not a final resolution of the dispute. State District Judge Brent Gamble on Thursday dismissed the lawsuit filed by Cosmopolitan Condominium Owners […]

School finance ruling expected soon

Hold onto your hats. For decades, the state’s 1,000-plus school districts vied against one another for a bigger piece of the financial pie. Now two-thirds of state districts have joined forces to say the system is unfair because it doesn’t provide adequate funding for all. The state’s high court is expected to rule any day […]

Back to square one for ReBuild Houston

Here we go again. A state district judge on Thursday voided the 2010 charter referendum that enabled the city to create the ReBuild Houston program, muddying the fate of the multi-billion-dollar funding scheme to dramatically improve Houston’s streets and drainage. Visiting Judge Buddie Hahn ordered the city to hold a new election on the drainage […]

Who can pay for Ken Paxton’s defense?

Paxton himself would like to know, though he doesn’t want you to know that he wants to know. In mid-July, a law firm representing an unnamed state official asked the Texas Ethics Commission whether it would be legal under state gift-giving laws for its client to receive a “benefit” from a donor if the official […]

The inevitable latest lawsuit against the EPA

As night follows the day. As promised, Texas is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over President Obama’s plan to combat climate change, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday, just after the new regulation had been finalized. The state is suing as part of a bipartisan coalition of 24 states — including Missouri and Kentucky, […]

Yet another Obamacare lawsuit

Some things never get old. n Texas’ latest salvo against Obamacare, Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit over a fee states must help cover to pay for the sweeping federal health reform law. Texas joins Louisiana and Kansas in suing the Obama administration over the Health Insurance Providers Fee, which Paxton says cost Texas […]

State goes fishing against Planned Parenthood

Here we go. Days after Texas health officials announced they want to kick Planned Parenthood out of the state Medicaid program, state investigators on Thursday visited Planned Parenthood facilities in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Investigators with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s investigative arm delivered requests to Planned Parenthood facilities in all three […]

Thanks but no thanks, Ken

Harris County will continue to pursue its own lawsuit against VW. Harris County has responded to Ken Paxton’s request to drop its lawsuit against scandal-plagued Volkswagen. Its answer? A polite no. […] In a reply to Paxton dated Oct. 15, [Harris County Attorney Vince] Ryan wrote, “we were pleased to learn that the Office of […]

Texas vs Planned Parenthood, part one million

This was going to happen sooner or later. Texas health officials say they are kicking Planned Parenthood out of the state Medicaid program entirely over what they called “acts of misconduct” revealed in undercover videos filmed earlier this year. Republican state leaders, who vehemently oppose abortion, have worked for years to curb taxpayer funding of […]

Are we ever going to get a redistricting ruling?

From the Texas Election Law Blog: As Rick Hasen has reported, [Wednesday] the plaintiffs in the 2011 redistricting lawsuit asked the three-judge panel for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division to enjoin the State of Texas from using the patently illegal district boundary lines that were used in the 2014 election. Evidence-wise, the […]

Paxton wants to sue VW all by himself

Really? Seeking to fight scandal-plagued Volkswagen alone, Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking two Texas counties to halt their lawsuits against the automaker — a move highlighting friction between Texas and local governments pursuing tens of millions of dollars in court. The Republican made the request in letters sent Friday to top attorneys in Harris […]

State of Texas sues VW

Bandwagon time! Following in the footsteps of Harris County and the city of Dallas, the state announced Thursday it is suing Volkswagen in connection with the German automaker’s admitted use of software that allowed its vehicles to circumvent emissions limits. Attorney General Ken Paxton announced two separate lawsuits against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and […]

Full Fifth circuit denies HBU in contraception lawsuit

Still no joy for them. A federal appeals court will not reconsider its ruling, delivered in June, that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive rules do not violate the religious freedom of church-based organizations in Texas. The religious organizations, including two Catholic dioceses and the University of Dallas, had asked the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court […]

State asks SCOTUS to not take up HB2 appeal

They win by default that way, so why would they want to have to take their chances? Texas attorney general Ken Paxton on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away a legal challenge to the state’s abortion restrictions filed by a coalition of abortion providers. The abortion providers appealed to the high court […]

County sues VW for $100 million

Good. Harris County on Tuesday set in motion a $100 million environmental lawsuit against Volkswagen, claiming emissions from 6,000 diesel cars circulating on roadways in the region have caused harm to the population. County Attorney Vince Ryan said his review of filings indicated this could be the first government suit against the car company since […]

Oral arguments in birth certificate lawsuit

Here we go. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of undocumented parents and their U.S.-citizen children against the state Department of State Health Services, which has effectively blocked the children from obtaining birth certificates. The families allege that the department has violated the children’s constitutional rights […]

Craft beer lawsuit

This ought to be interesting. On the same day merger talk surfaced regarding the world’s two biggest beer companies, a small Dallas brewery announced its own effort to shake up the industry in Texas. Deep Ellum Brewing Co. launched the crowd-funded “Operation Six-Pack to Go” on Wednesday and said it had filed a federal lawsuit […]

$8 million and counting for voter ID litigation

Ka-ching. Republicans used their majority in 2011 to muscle through the Legislature a controversial voter ID law and new redistricting maps — and Texas taxpayers haven’t stopped picking up the bill for the state to defend those measures in courts ever since. Texas’ total legal tab to date: more than $8 million, data obtained under […]

When might we get a Supreme Court ruling on school finance?

When they’re damn good and ready is the usual answer for Supreme Court rulings, but in the case of school finance lawsuits they usually act with some measure of speed. Given past rulings and politics — three justices on the nine-member, all-Republican court are up for re-election next year — the consensus among experts and […]

Paxton loses again on same sex marriage

Good. Turning aside objections from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Travis County judge approved an out-of-court settlement Tuesday that recognizes the eight-year relationship of two Austin women as a common-law marriage. The settlement accepted by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ended an estate fight between Sonemaly Phrasavath and family members of the woman […]

Paxton asks judge to block EPA water rules in Texas

The basic story: Texas has asked a federal judge to block enforcement of a new rule that expands authority over which water bodies the U.S. government can regulate. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made the request Tuesday in an 88-page court document. The request comes in the wake of a federal court ruling in North […]

DPS seeks dismissal of Sandra Bland lawsuit

The expected response by the defendants. The Texas Department of Public Safety and Trooper Brian Encinia filed motions Tuesday to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit in the death of Sandra Bland, five days after Waller County filed court papers rebutting claims that it was responsible for her death in the county jail. DPS claimed immunity […]

Paxton still fighting same sex marriage

Some things never change. Despite his recent pledge to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, Attorney General Ken Paxton is already seeking to prevent the decision from being applied in an Austin estate case. Paxton’s office filed a motion August 25 in Travis County’s probate court aimed at blocking an Austin woman […]

The stakes in the voter ID appeal

Rick Hasen lays it out. Don’t worry, Chief Justice John Roberts assured the American public in that 2013 case, Shelby County v. Holder. Although states with a history of racial discrimination would no longer be subject to federal “preclearance” of voting changes because preclearance offends the “equal sovereignty” of states such as Texas, there’s always […]