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Posts under ‘Legal matters’

City asks court to let Ashby Highrise be built

Interesting. The city on Friday asked a judge to let the Ashby high-rise project go forward after seven years of wrangling and a recent jury verdict in favor of nearby residents who oppose the 21-story tower planned for 1717 Bissonnet. City Attorney David Feldman said halting construction of a project that satisfied the regulations in […]

Court rules for the EPA against Texas again

Another win for the environment. A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Obama administration’s new rules that for the first time limit emissions of mercury and other harmful pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. In a split decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a Texas-based challenge […]

Time is running out to undo Pratt’s mass dismissals

Remember when now-former Judge Denise Pratt dismissed hundreds of cases at the end of 2013 without notice? Since her abrupt resignation last month, other Family Court judges have been trying to clean up the mess she left behind. This includes reaching out to lawyers and clients that were affected by the New Year’s Eve purge. […]

Planned Parenthood petitions Fifth Circuit for en banc review of HB2 ruling

From the inbox: Today, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed a petition on behalf of their patients to request that the full bench of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals consider the constitutionality of harmful abortion restrictions that were struck down by  a federal district court last fall. On March 27, a three-judge panel of the court […]

No hiding behind privilege

Here’s your latest voter ID litigation update, from the Brad Blog: Just over a week ago, it was North Carolina legislators ordered by the court to cough up documentation relating to passage of new, draconian restrictions on voting rights in their state. Now, legislators in Texas are facing much the same thing, as that state’s extreme polling […]

No, there won’t be a flood of equal pay lawsuits in Texas

There wasn’t one before, when the federal Lilly Ledbetter Act passed. There’s no reason to believe there will be one if a state version of the Ledbetter law is approved. Candidates for statewide office have wrangled recently over an effort to address sex-based wage discrimination by extending the window for lawsuits. But as the campaigns […]

Another lawsuit against HB2 to be filed

If at first you don’t succeed… Less than a week after a federal court upheld two new Texas abortion requirements already in effect, abortion providers announced plans to file a second lawsuit targeting additional regulations that the Republican-led Legislature passed in July. The suit that the group plans to file Wednesday in a federal court […]

Fifth Circuit does its thing again

There was never any doubt. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the new abortion regulations that were passed in July by the Republican-led Texas Legislature. The plaintiffs, who represent the majority of abortion providers in Texas, including four Planned Parenthood affiliates, Whole Woman’s Health and other independent abortion providers, challenged the constitutionality of […]

Abbott sides with medical malpractice

Awesome. The Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, accused of protecting a neurosurgeon who allegedly killed and maimed patients, gained an ally this week in Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Abbott filed motions to intervene in three separate federal court suits brought against Baylor Plano by former patients of Dr. Christopher Duntsch. They have alleged […]

Another same sex divorce case

In Bexar County. And with it comes another opportunity for Greg Abbott to demonstrate his commitment to non-equality. The Bexar divorce case was filed Feb. 18, eight days before U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex unions and its refusal to recognize out-of-state marriages are unconstitutional. The judge stayed his […]

AG opinion sought on bag bans

Whatever. As proponents continue to tout the benefits of banning plastic bags, the debate over whether Texas cities like Austin actually have the ability to enact such ordinances has made its way to the attorney general’s office. In a letter seeking an opinion from Attorney General Greg Abbott, state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, questioned whether […]

Next steps in the Texas same sex marriage lawsuit

In case you were wondering, Attorney General and candidate for Governor Greg Abbott will appeal Wednesday’s historic ruling striking down Texas’ constitutional amendment barring same sex marriage. The state of Texas has officially given notice that it is appealing a San Antonio judge’s ruling that completely struck down its ban on same sex marriage. “Defendants […]

Texas stands with polluters against the EPA one more time

Here we go. The Obama administration’s climate change agenda on Monday faced one of its first real tests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, where Texas and a group of industry leaders challenged an Environmental Protection Agency regulation aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The question before the court is whether permits needed by […]

Federal judge strikes down Texas’ anti-same sex marriage law

Wow. A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deprives some citizens of due process and equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves […]

Voter ID trial still on track for September

It could have been delayed till after the November election. A federal judge in Corpus Christi ruled on Wednesday that a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of the state’s controversial Voter ID law is expected to begin in September as scheduled, 1200 WOAI news reports. Civil Rights groups like the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, which […]

Nikki Araguz case reinstated

Good. A transgender woman who was denied benefits after her firefighter husband died in the line of duty will get another chance to litigate the case in a state district courtroom, the 13th Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. [...] Nikki Araguz has been on feminizing hormone therapy since age 18 and in 1996 successfully petitioned […]

No ruling in Texas same sex marriage lawsuit

We’re going to have to wait to see if an injunction will be granted against Texas’ Double Secret Illegal Anti-Gay Marriage constitutional amendment. A San Antonio federal judge issued no decision Wednesday in a request to bar the state from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage. The request for a preliminary injunction by two gay […]

Hearing for the Texas federal same sex marriage lawsuit is tomorrow

All eyes will be on San Antonio on Wednesday. Like most new parents, Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon plan their days around their small child. Theirs is an ordinary family life, they say, but it is by no means easy. Although married in 2009 in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, they live in […]

School finance retrial wraps

We’re back where it all began. The Texas Legislature failed to bridge funding gaps between wealthy and poor school districts despite partial restoration of funds that were cut, lawyers representing schools told a state district judge Friday. “They have put a Band-aid on a Band-aid on a Band-aid,” said Rick Gray, attorney for the Texas […]

The cost of fighting the inevitable

Trib headline: Anti-Regulation Politics May Have Hurt Energy Industry. Oh, the irony. Businesses in energy-related industries in Texas say they have been unable to take full advantage of the natural gas boom that is roaring across the state because of a delay in the issuing of greenhouse gas permits — an instance in which Texas’ […]

Federal judge denies Abbott motion to consolidate same sex marriage lawsuits

From Lone Star Q: A key hearing in a federal lawsuit challenging Texas’ same-sex marriage bans will go forward next month in San Antonio. U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia, of the Western District of Texas, on Wednesday rejected Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s latest effort to transfer the lawsuit from San Antonio to Austin. […]

City sues HFRRF again

From the inbox: In the face of growing concern about its ability to meet long-term retiree pension obligations, the City of Houston filed a lawsuit today against the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF), one of three pension systems covering City employees. The lawsuit seeks to enable the City to have the same input […]

Abbott inserts himself in Houston same sex benefits lawsuit

Not a surprise. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed briefs arguing that a state court should be given an opportunity to declare Houston’s new policy of granting benefits to some same-sex partners of employees unlawful under Texas’ marriage laws. In the first of two amicus briefs, Abbott argued that a lawsuit filed by a […]

School finance retrial, Day One

And they’re off, again. Back in the courtroom after a 2013 legislative session in which lawmakers added money back to the state public education budget, lawyers representing nearly two-thirds of Texas school districts argued on Tuesday that the funding boost was short term, and that other changes had increased costs for schools. “Any and all […]

School finance retrial starts today

Back in the saddle again. A fight over the state’s controversial school funding system is headed back to court Tuesday before the same judge who declared it unconstitutional nearly a year ago, with state lawyers hoping they can persuade him that an infusion of new money and other legislative remedies have restored the requisite measure […]

Davis beats Abbott in court again

That’s probably the simplest way to understand this story. A San Antonio federal court has ordered Texas to pay more than $260,000 in attorney fees to the legal team that helped state Sen. Wendy Davis beat back Republican attempts to carve up her district in 2011. The ruling earlier this week amounts to another court […]

Fifth Circuit pretends to hear HB2 appeal

We’re all sure what their decision will be, right? Appellate judges on Monday challenged lawyers over provisions of Texas’ new abortion law and whether they have unduly caused the closure of about a dozen abortion clinics. The three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals bore down in particular on the shuttering of […]

HHSC publishes rules relating to HB2

HHSC is all in on the omnibus anti-abortion bill passed during the special session this summer. Texas health officials have a message for the more than 19,000 folks who wrote in to oppose new abortion regulations: Each individual commenter failed to show that clinics will close or that women will face an undue burden under […]

HBU wins contraception mandate lawsuit

This is very disappointing. The federal government cannot force Houston Baptist University to pay for emergency contraception services as part of its employee health insurance plans, according to a ruling Friday by U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal. The decision is a victory for HBU and East Texas Baptist University in their joint lawsuit against the […]

City moves anti-same sex spouse benefits lawsuit to federal court

Interesting. Mayor Annise Parker and the city of Houston have moved a lawsuit challenging same-sex benefits out of Republican Judge Lisa Millard’s court after she allegedly halted the benefits without giving the city proper notice. City Attorney David Feldman filed a “Notice of Removal” on Friday saying the lawsuit belongs in U.S. district court instead […]

School finance trial do-over set to start soon

Once more into the breach. Hundreds of school districts in North Texas and across the state will resume their courtroom battle over funding in January, arguing that new money and reduced testing did little to fix Texas’ school finance system. State and legislative leaders contend changes they approved this year have blunted the districts’ arguments. […]

Lambda Legal sues Houston over same sex spouse benefits

I didn’t see this coming. Lambda Legal [Thursday] filed a federal lawsuit against Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston seeking to preserve spousal benefits, including health insurance, covering the same-sex spouses of city employees. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on behalf three […]

More on the local GOP’s lawsuit against same sex spouse insurance benefits

Family Court? What’s up with that? City Attorney Dave Feldman said Wednesday that the city of Houston and Mayor Annise Parker were not given notice before a family district court judge halted a recent policy change extending health and life insurance benefits to city employees in same-sex marriages. “I’m not even sure how this ended […]

Harris County GOP sues over same sex spouse benefits for city employees

When Mayor Parker announced that legally married same sex spouses would be eligible to be added to city employees’ health insurance plans, I was certain that there would be legal action taken against that decision. The Harris County GOP has now supplied the legal action. The city of Houston’s recent policy change extending health and […]