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Posts under ‘Legal matters’

Fifth Circuit panel declines to lift immigration executive order injunction

Alas. A federal appeals court in New Orleans has denied a request to lift an injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action to protect millions of immigrants from deportation. In a split decision, two of three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled to leave the injunction in place, finding that […]

SCOTUS to hear Texas “one person one vote” challenge

Gird your loins. When drawing voting districts, should lawmakers seek to make each district have roughly the same number of people, or the same number of people eligible to vote? The Supreme Court is going to answer that question, the court announced Tuesday morning. The question lies at the heart of a Texas case, and […]

No expedited appeal for HERO opponents

From HOUEquality, on May 13: Today the 14th Court of Appeals denied HERO opponents’ request to force a trial in less than 30 days. The trial will proceed, but at a regular pace. This is another setback for opponents, but the case will still be heard by the Court of Appeals. HERO opponents filed their […]

Texas plans to sue over EPA’s latest clean air plan

So what else is new? Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday that he plans to sue the Obama administration over the proposed “Clean Power Plan,” its plan to combat climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power plants. “Texas has proven we can improve air quality without damaging our economy or Texans’ pocketbooks,” the Republican […]

Here come the HERO appeals

So many appeals. Andy Taylor, attorney for the plaintiffs, said he will continue an appeal he has pending at the Texas Supreme Court, which has made no decision on whether it will hear the case. He has a response due in two weeks but plans to file sooner than that. Taylor will also file two […]

Uber sues Houston

It’s all about the secrecy. Uber is once again suing to keep its secrets. The ride-hailing service filed suit in Houston last week to block the release of public records that would reveal how many drivers it has licensed in the city, who they are and how the company operates in Texas, according to court […]

Voter ID appeal report

The Trib reports from New Orleans. A federal appellate judge on Tuesday questioned why the Texas Legislature had not addressed concerns that its four-year-old voter ID law discriminated against minority voters. U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Catharina Haynes stopped short of rebuking state lawmakers while listening to attorneys spar over what are widely […]

SCOTUS finally tackles same sex marriage

We all know what went on at the Supreme Court yesterday, so I’m just going to link to some of the coverage: TPM Daily Kos 1 Daily Kos 2 Buzzfeed The Slacktivist Washington Post SCOTUSBlog analysis SCOTUSBlog liveblog I think we all know what the stakes are, but let’s bring it back to Texas, where […]

Fifth Circuit to hear Texas voter ID appeal

There’s more than one big appellate case being heard today. The Texas voter identification law will make a stop at a federal appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday on a likely path to the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller and lawyers representing plaintiffs, including the U.S. Justice Department, will present arguments […]

SCOTUS rejects North Carolina redistricting

Of interest. On Monday, the Supreme Court vacated a ruling from North Carolina’s highest court that had upheld Republican-drawn maps of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. While we don’t yet know what the final outcome will be, the court’s decision could have a real impact on one of the most aggressively partisan gerrymanders in […]

Fifth Circuit hears request to lift immigration injunction order

Always best to temper one’s expectations with these guys. An argument from U. S. Department of Justice lawyers that the state of Texas doesn’t have standing to challenge the Obama administration’s controversial immigration policy met with resistance from a pair of federal appellate judges Friday. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals […]

City prevails in HERO repeal petition lawsuit

Hallelujah! Opponents of Houston’s non-discrimination ordinance failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a repeal referendum, a state district judge ruled Friday, validating city officials’ decision to toss out the petition foes submitted last summer. After separate rulings from both a jury and state District Judge Robert Schaffer, attorneys for both sides entered dueling […]

As usual, the Fifth Circuit is where hope goes to be strangled

Ugh. Judge Jerry E. Smith’s presence on the panel that will hear oral arguments in Texas v. United States on Friday is simply a disaster for the DAPA and expanded DACA programs. Smith, the self-described former right-wing activist, once described feminists as a “gaggle of outcasts, misfits and rejects.” He is one of five judges […]

Al Bennett confirmed to federal district court

Great news. After months of delay, a unanimous U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Alfred Bennett to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, cracking open slightly a national logjam of judicial nominations and a backlog of cases. Bennett’s 95-0 vote, though welcomed by legal reformers, still leaves in limbo at least […]

No HERO ruling quite yet

There was a hearing, but still no ruling quite yet. Opponents of the city’s legally embattled equal rights ordinance say they collected about 200 more valid petition signatures than they need to trigger a repeal referendum, a figure a district court judge will consider this week as he issues the final ruling in what has […]

Injunction against immigration executive order stays in place

Not a surprise, I guess. A Brownsville-based federal judge on Tuesday denied the Obama administration’s request to let a controversial immigration program proceed while the issue plays out in the courts. United States District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that his initial decision to halt the president’s November executive action — which seeks to grant deportation […]

Get ready for the HERO ruling

Should happen on Monday. With a ruling expected next week in the protracted legal battle surrounding Houston’s equal rights ordinance, city attorneys entered a motion for judgment late Friday afternoon that says opponents of the law are 650 signatures shy of triggering a repeal referendum. District Judge Robert Schaffer will hold a formal hearing Monday […]

“Kicking and screaming”

Looks like we’re going to have to wait for SCOTUS to finally bring same sex marriage to Texas. Daniel McNeel Lane Jr., who represents two same-sex couples challenging Texas’ marriage ban, previously predicted the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would bring marriage equality to the state before Easter. But Lane said this week he […]

Remember the Alamo lawsuit

Release the lawyers! Earlier this month, Texas General Land Commissioner George P. Bush fired The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, longtime managers of the Alamo, effective July 10. In a letter to the group, Bush cited 10 contract violations and said the state would be moving in a new direction. Now, the group is […]

Once again to SCOTUS for Texas and the EPA

Plus ca change, and all that. Texas again went head-to-head with the Environmental Protection Agency before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, this time challenging federal limits on the emission of pollutants like mercury, acid gases and other toxic metals from power plants. Joined by 20 other states, Texas is arguing that the EPA didn’t […]

Injunction granted against FMLA benefits for same sex couples

What a load of crap. A Wichita Falls federal district judge on Thursday granted Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to temporarily stop the federal government from revising the Family and Medical Leave Act to include federal employees in same-sex unions. Paxton and attorneys general from Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska who sued the federal government “have […]

Hearing set for appeal of immigration order ruling

Coming soon. A court hearing has been set for April 17 on whether a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted, a federal appeals court announced Tuesday. […] The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said each side will have an hour to make their arguments about […]

Still counting HERO repeal petition signatures

After more than a month, we finally have an update on the signature counting from the HERO repeal petition trial. The first publicly disclosed tally since the heated trial surrounding the city’s equal rights ordinance wrapped up last month leaves opponents of the law about 3,000 valid petition signatures shy of triggering a repeal referendum, […]

Paxton files his first lawsuit against the feds

Won’t be his last, I’m sure, but as the first it sure seems like a rearguard action. The state of Texas is suing the Obama administration for giving medical leave benefits to certain same-sex couples, according to an announcement Wednesday from Attorney General Ken Paxton. The lawsuit comes in response to a rule change announced […]

Feds file appeal of immigration injunction to Fifth Circuit

Time to force the issue. The Obama administration Thursday asked a federal appeals court to do what a Texas-based judge didn’t: allow a controversial immigration program to move forward while the issue plays out in the courts. Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice filed an emergency motion asking the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of […]

Immigration lawsuit update

Another hearing is scheduled. The judge who blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration has ordered the Justice Department to answer allegations that the government misled him about part of the plan. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered Monday that the lawyers for the federal government appear in his court March 19 in Brownsville. […]

SCOTUS to hear same sex marriage appeal in April

Get ready. The Supreme Court will hear arguments over same-sex marriage on April 28 and make audio of the proceedings available later that day. The gay marriage cases mark the only time this term that the court has agreed to the quick release of audio recordings. But the court is continuing its ban on providing […]

Wilson’s legal fees

Oh, come on. The ongoing legal battle over Houston Community College Trustee Dave Wilson’s residency is poised to pit one source of taxpayer dollars against another, as the college may be on the hook for his legal fees and the county continues to pay to pursue a case it has lost twice. HCC has an […]

Cleo and Nicole

You should read this Texas Monthly feature story on Cleopatra de Leon and Nicole Dimetman, two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to overturn Texas’ ban on same sex marriage. But it is children— their children—that prompted Cleo and Nicole to file a lawsuit in the first place. Their suit argues that “responsible procreation” ignores […]

From the “Be careful who you vote for” department

Because you never know when the consequences of your voting actions will directly affect you. Erin Meredith, a fifth-generation Republican who lives in Austin, was no fan of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which she considered just another wasteful government handout. She didn’t sign up for a health plan until late last year, when she […]

Supreme Court hears Renew Houston appeal

Last stop of the litigation train for the plaintiffs that have sued to overturn the Renew Houston referendum, on the grounds that the voters were misinformed about what they were voting for. Two lower courts have sided with the city, and the case has now landed in the state’s highest court, where attorneys for both […]

Complaint filed against judge who allowed same sex marriage

Whatever. The judge that allowed Texas’ first gay marriage to go forward is the target of a judicial conduct complaint, the latest volley in the state’s attempts to call the historic union into question. “This judge deliberately violated statutory law and this is unacceptable,” Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arglington, said after confirming he had filed a […]

Judge Schaffer makes his ruling on the HERO repeal petitions

I was expecting this to happen Monday, but apparently Judge Robert Schaffer handed down his ruling about which HERO repeal petition signatures were valid and should be counted on Monday. Judge Robert Schaffer ruled on which types of signatures can be counted on the petition seeking to overturn the controversial ordinance. According to the city […]

Justice Department files request for stay on immigration ruling

As expected. The U.S. government asked a federal judge Monday to lift his temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s action to shield millions of immigrants in the country illegally from deportation. The Justice Department’s motion for a stay was filed with the court of U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas. The federal government […]