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Posts Tagged ‘ACLU of Texas’

SB4’s day in court

Sparks were flying. Opponents of Texas’ state-based immigration law told a federal judge Monday that allowing the controversial measure to stand would pave the way for a nationwide police state where local officers could subvert the established immigration-enforcement powers of the federal government. But the state’s attorneys argued in tandem with their colleagues from the […]

ACLU files for injunction against SB4

From the inbox: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas filed the first motion today to block the anti-immigrant and anti-law enforcement Texas Senate Bill (SB4) before it takes effect. This is the next step in the organization’s effort to strike down SB4. The law, recently signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, strips […]

State files motion to combine all the “sanctuary cities” lawsuits

This isn’t a surprise, but there is a bit of a twist. In a filing late Thursday, Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal district court in Austin to absorb two other legal challenges that have been filed against the ban in San Antonio, which is seen as a friendlier venue toward opponents of the […]

ACLU joins first “sanctuary cities” lawsuit

From the inbox: The ACLU of Texas and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project have joined the lawsuit challenging Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4), which demands that local governments and their employees engage in federal immigration enforcement practices. The case, City of El Cenizo, Texas, et al. v. State of Texas, et al., was filed earlier […]

Lawsuit filed against Houston panhandling ordinance

From the inbox: The ACLU of Texas announced today that it had filed a lawsuit on behalf of three homeless Houstonian plaintiffs adversely affected by the City of Houston’s camping and panhandling ordinances. Taken together, these ordinances illegally deprive homeless Houstonians of shelter, infringe on their right to free speech and ultimately constitute a criminalization […]

Get ready for the “sanctuary cities” lawsuits

It’s just a matter of time. Now that Senate Bill 4 is on its way to becoming law, opponents are looking to the courts for relief – and a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case is giving them hope. The high court struck down parts of a controversial 2010 immigration law in Arizona on the grounds […]

House passes its “sanctuary cities” bill

Terrible. After more than 16 hours of debate, the Texas House of Representatives early Thursday morning tentatively gave a nod to the latest version of a Senate bill that would ban “sanctuary” jurisdictions in Texas. The 93-54 vote on second reading fell along party lines and came after one of the slowest moving but most […]

Lawsuit filed over Muslim ban documents

From the inbox: The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit [Wednesday] demanding government documents about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trump’s Muslim ban. Today’s action is part of a total of 13 FOIA lawsuits filed by ACLU affiliates across the country. The ACLU of Texas lawsuit is […]

There’s more than SB6 to watch out for

Keep an eye out for other anti-LGBT bills, because any of them might pass even if SB6 goes down. With the media seemingly preoccupied by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill, three Republican state senators have quietly introduced a sweeping anti-LGBT “religious freedom” measure. Senate Bill 651, filed last week, would bar state agencies that […]

Transgender health directive halted

One last kick in the rear from the annus horribilis that was 2016. A Texas judge issued an injunction Saturday against a federal mandate aimed to protect transgender people, finding that the federal health rule violates existing law. The preliminary injunction, granted by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, is in response to a lawsuit filed […]

ACLU intervenes in transgender health care suit

Good for them. The ACLU and ACLU of Texas are getting involved in a lawsuit over a regulation in the Affordable Care Act. In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against federal regulations that prohibit healthcare discrimination against people who are transgender. The lawsuit was announced by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Franciscan […]

Paxton encourages schools to discriminate against transgender students

From the ACLU of Texas: [Friday], the ACLU of Texas issued a letter to Texas school districts outlining their ongoing legal responsibility to provide transgender students access to educational opportunities and school facilities on the same basis as all other students. Yesterday, the State of Texas issued its own “guidance” letter to Texas schools regarding […]

More on Mississippi’s anti-LGBT law and the effect in Texas

Doesn’t look like we’re going to learn anything from the Mississippi experience. Reeves’ ruling isn’t likely to deter Texas Republicans who have stated adamantly that Christians and others with sincerely held religious beliefs need extra protection when following their faith, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court last year allowed gay marriage and the Obama administration […]

State finally releases abortion data

It’s exactly what you’d expect. The Texas Department of State Health Services has released the state’s 2014 abortion data after weeks of allegationsthat the agency had been intentionally withholding the numbers. The 2014 data is significant because it is the first year to reflect the impact of Texas’ anti-abortion law, House Bill 2, on abortion […]

State still resisting refugees

Because of course we are. The federal government wants Texas to accept more than 2,000 additional refugees this year. Texas’ response: No thank you. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is putting the federal government on notice that the state will refuse to take in more refugees than it did last year and will […]

Where’s the abortion data?

The ACLU would like to know. With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to decide the biggest abortion case in nearly a decade, the ACLU of Texas is demanding that the Department of State Health Services “stop concealing” abortion statistics for 2014 and make the information public. In a letter sent Wednesday to department Commissioner John […]

Hanen stays his sanctions

Good. The Texas-based judge that last year put a hold on President Obama’s executive order on immigration decided on Tuesday to also suspend a controversial punishment he had recently issued to the administration’s attorneys. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen asserted in May that the federal government’s attorneys intentionally misled his court during last year’s proceedings over the […]

Groups ask Fifth Circuit to block Judge Hanen order

Interesting. A coalition of civil and immigrant rights groups on Friday asked an appeals court to stop a federal judge’s order that requires the Obama administration to turn over the confidential information of thousands of undocumented immigrants. The filing in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals by the National Immigration Law Center, the American […]

Get ready for more “religious freedom” bills

Gird your loins. The next Texas legislative session is almost a year away, but Senate Republicans are already zeroing in on proposals to bolster legal protections for religious opponents of same-sex marriage after its legalization by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. At a hearing of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, some Republicans […]

The animus that drives HERO opposition

I have often spoken of my contempt for the leaders of the HERO opposition, for their lying and their willingness to demonize their fellow man. There are a number of people who deserve that scorn, but this guy belongs up at the top. When conservative firebrand Dr. Steven Hotze unsheathed a sword in August while […]

Dan Patrick buys airtime for anti-HERO ads

Of course he does. With the start of early voting Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick began lending his voice and his pocketbook to radio and TV ads urging Houston voters to reject the city’s embattled equal rights ordinance. At a news conference Monday in Houston, Patrick echoed the chief criticism of equal rights ordinance opponents […]

30 day finance reports: Pro- and anti-HERO

Some good news here. Supporters of Houston’s contentious equal rights ordinance raked in $1.26 million during seven weeks of official fundraising, more than doubling opponents’ efforts and fueling a fierce and frenzied media campaign to court voters before the law hits the November ballot. In campaign finance reports filed Monday that reflect late summer totals, […]

Does your JP still do marriages?

Some do and some don’t. Last Wednesday, Judge Dale Gorczynski, a justice of the peace in Harris County, heard 19 eviction cases, sent 147 traffic and misdemeanor cases to trial and presided over five weddings: Three for same-sex couples and two for heterosexual couples. It was the first time gay couples outnumbered straight ones in […]

Houston Unites

The pro-HERO campaign has been launched. Supporters of Houston’s nondiscrimination ordinance launched a formal campaign Wednesday urging voters to defend the measure this November. ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke urged Houstonians to “send a message that this is a city that doesn’t discriminate.” Businessman Bobby Singh, invoking the threat of losing sporting events […]

Here come the lawyers

I don’t see how the squadron of anti-equality attorneys has a case in the wake of Obergfell, but they’re gonna try their best to muck things up anyway. Now, conservative attorneys are gearing up to defend [government employees who refuse to recognize gay marriage because of religious objections], saying they are confident existing laws will […]

Where same sex marriage is still functionally illegal in Texas

Smith County: After a historic Supreme Court ruling, making same sex marriage legal in all fifty states, couples across the country flocked to courthouses to be legally married. Despite the ruling, an East Texas County Court will not be issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips said they first […]

And we begin the next fight

It’s always going to be something. In a somber and defiant statement, Attorney General Ken Paxton proclaimed his next battlefront would be in defense of religious liberty. “The truth is that the debate over the issue of marriage has increasingly devolved into personal and economic aggression against people of faith who have sought to live […]

I repeat, no one will be forced to perform a same sex wedding

This really is a huge waste of time. For some gay rights advocates, a bill in the Texas Legislature that would allow clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples would be acceptable if it just included four more words. As the Senate State Affairs Committee heard testimony Monday morning on Senate Bill 2065 by Sen. […]

Discrimination is bad for business

Good for TAB. The Texas Association of Business has come out against two religious freedom resolutions that critics say would enshrine a “license to discriminate” against LGBT people in the Texas Constitution. TAB, which is the state’s powerful chamber of commerce, unanimously adopted a resolution last month opposing House Joint Resolution 55 and Senate Joint […]

First lawsuit filed over abortion restrictions

Good. The next stage in abortion rights advocates’ efforts to block implementation of strict new regulations on the procedure in Texas began on Friday, as the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and a group of abortion providers across the state filed a lawsuit in federal court. “Today’s lawsuit is a united […]

To sue or not to sue?

Now that SB2 has passed, it’s time to consider the next move. As an omnibus bill restricting abortion access in Texas makes its way to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk, opponents of the measure are already weighing the possibility of suing the state to stop implementation of the regulations, which lawmakers approved last week. “There are […]

Responding to The Response

I almost forgot that Rick Perry’s Prayerpalooza, also known as The Response, is this weekend. Fortunately, some other folks are more on the ball than I am about this. On Tuesday, more than 50 Houston-area religious and community leaders disseminated a signed statement drafted by the Anti-Defamation League expressing “deep concern” about a prayer rally […]

Response from Randle Richardson regarding the CEP report

As noted before, Randle Richardson, the CEO of Community Education Partners (CEP), left a comment on the Hair Balls post in which Houston’s LULAC chapter and the Texas ACLU raised concerns about that report evaluating CEP’s effectiveness. He left a similar comment on my post, and also sent me an email with a couple of […]

Not everyone was impressed by that CEP report

Last week, a Texas A&M researcher released a report that evaluated the effectiveness of Community Education Partners (CEP), the provider HISD uses for its disciplinary alternate education program. The evaluation was very positive for CEP, saying it did a good job meeting or exceeding the metrics that are set for it. But since then, there […]