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Posts Tagged ‘Attorney General’

Special prosecutors named in Temple case

We’ll see how they proceed. The Texas Attorney General’s Office has been tapped to prosecute the murder case against former Alief Coach David Temple in the 1999 death of his pregnant wife. State District Judge Kelli Johnson appointed Lisa Tanner and Bill Turner, two lawyers with the AG’s office, as special prosecutors almost two weeks […]

First anti-“sanctuary cities” lawsuit filed

That was quick. Senate Bill 4 has drawn its first lawsuit. The League of United Latin American Citizens, Maverick County and the city of El Cenizo sued the state of Texas on Monday, claiming that SB 4 has failed to properly define a “sanctuary city,” and that the city and county — both on the […]

Paxton gets ahead of the “sanctuary cities” lawsuit rush

That’s one way to do it, I suppose. Attorney General Ken Paxton is looking to get ahead of an anticipated barrage of legal challenges to Texas’ ban on “sanctuary cities,” which takes effect Sept. 1. Shortly after Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law on Sunday, Paxton filed a lawsuit — known as […]

Bathroom bills and business interests

Texas Monthly’s Dave Mann reviews the Republican schism over the bathroom bill and comes to the same conclusion as I have. At the moment, the Legislature—and the Republican party, for that matter—has settled into an uneasy stalemate between Patrick’s right-leaning Senate and Straus’s more moderate coalition in the House. But, as they say, stalemates are […]

Who’s your lawyer?

Ross Ramsey has a simple question. Do you remember the name of the lawyer who advised the Texas House and Senate when they wrote the 2011 voter ID bill? That’s the law a federal judge in Corpus Christi found to be intentionally discriminatory on the basis of race. An appeals court told her to throw […]

Attorney’s fees awarded to same sex marriage plaintiffs

Justice. Texas is on the hook for more than $600,000 in fees associated with its unsuccessful fight to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Affirming a lower court ruling on the fees, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week shot down Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s challenge to the award amount granted […]

The status of Section 3

Lyle Denniston looks at a key aspect of the voting rights-related lawsuits in Texas. About four years after the Supreme Court took away the government’s strongest authority to protect minority voters’ rights, a backup power under the federal Voting Rights Act – weaker and harder to use – is now being threatened, just as federal […]

State wants to appeal redistricting ruling

From Texas Redistricting: The State of Texas filed a motion [Wednesday] afternoon with the three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case, asking the panel to give the state permission to appeal the panel’s March 10 ruling on the state’s 2011 congressional plan (Plan C185) to the Fifth Circuit. Texas told the court that it sought […]

Voter ID education was a massive failure

This is outrageous. The University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs recently completed a report, “The Texas Voter ID Law and the 2016 Election,” based on surveys of registered voters who sat out the 2016 elections in the state’s two highest profile battleground jurisdictions: Harris County and Congressional District 23 (CD-23), which stretches from […]

State files opposition to motion for new Congressional maps

From Texas Redistricting: The State of Texas has filed its opposition to redistricting plaintiffs’ request for an order that would permanently block the current Texas congressional map and require a redraw of the map for the 2018 election. The state told the court that any ruling on the injunction request was premature since the court […]

Paxton stands by that Muslim ban

Till the bitter end. Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday led a coalition of 13 states in filing a brief with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals defending President Donald Trump’s revised immigration order. In the brief, Paxton and representatives from 12 other states argue that the Trump administration’s new order is legal and […]

So what does that redistricting ruling really mean?

The Trib has a good explainer. So will the Legislature redraw the congressional map? And if so, when? Here’s where it gets tricky. Friday’s order made it clear that the 2011 map cannot stand, but it did not order anyone to immediately redraw it. That might be because that map wasn’t actually in effect. Amid […]

Another voter ID update

From the Lone Star Project: Last week, the Trump Department of Justice brought press attention to the ongoing Texas voter ID lawsuit that remains pending before Federal District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi. The Trump DOJ withdrew long-standing federal government claims that the Texas law was adopted with the intent to discriminate against Hispanic […]

Once more with feeling on voter ID

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern says that Tuesday’s arguments about whether Texas’ voter ID law was enacted with discriminatory intent or not went well for the plaintiffs, and not for the state or its new buddies in the Justice Department. Tuesday’s hearing was supposed to be all about the question of intent. But the DOJ’s last-minute […]

Voter ID 2.0

Well, this is interesting. Top Texas Republicans unveiled legislation Tuesday that would overhaul the state’s voter identification rules, an effort to comply with court rulings that have found that the current law discriminates against minority groups. Filed by Sen. Joan Huffman, Senate Bill 5 would add options for Texans who say they cannot “reasonably” obtain […]

AG’s office sanctioned in voter registration lawsuit

They were warned. A federal judge has ordered sanctions against the state of Texas for blowing past deadlines and ignoring a court order to hand over thousands of pages of documents in a lawsuit challenging its voter registration practices. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office’s “months-long delay” in producing the documents “has been disruptive, time […]

Paxton files brief in favor of Muslim ban

Because of course he does. Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an amicus brief Wednesday expressing his support of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, effectively becoming the first state attorney general to back the controversial executive order. Under the executive order, travelers from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya are barred from entering the […]

Texas Dems look to 2018

I have a few things to say about this. A tight-knit group of Texas Democratic leaders traveled to the state capital [in late January] to begin preliminary conversations about the 2018 midterm races. According to over a dozen interviews with Texas Democratic insiders and national Democrats with ties to the state, the meeting included some […]

State fails to respond to voter registration lawsuit

Here’s an update on a different voting rights lawsuit from last year. Civil rights lawyers suing Texas over its voter registration practices are asking a federal judge to sanction the state for allegedly blowing past deadlines and ignoring a court order to hand over thousands of pages of documents related to the case. The Texas […]

More Paxton-versus-SEC stuff

Keeping the lawyers busy. Lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton say the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission cannot “shoot first and investigate later” as they seek to block 15 new subpoenas issued by the SEC. It is the latest argument by Paxton’s attorneys in their effort to show the SEC is scrambling to save […]

Paxton’s trial date set

Mark your calendars, and stock up on the popcorn. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial on criminal securities fraud charges is set to begin May 1. Jury selection will be held April 20-21 and April 27-28, according to a recent order by George Gallagher, the judge presiding over Paxton’s case. He also scheduled a hearing […]

Feds officially file appeal in transgender bathroom directive lawsuit

This may be the last stop. With two weeks left, the Obama administration has asked a federal appeals court to throw out a lower court’s decision that suspended policies designed to protect transgender people’s access to restrooms — a sign the current leadership of the Justice Department will close shop mid-fight on one of its […]

“Fetal remains” rule still on hold

Take all the time you need. As he considers a final ruling on the state’s fetal remains burial rule, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks is delaying the start date of the rule for at least another three weeks. On Wednesday afternoon, after attorneys for the state of Texas and the Center for Reproductive Rights […]

So what happens to all those Texas lawsuits against the feds?

It depends, but basically it’s up to the new Solicitor General, since he is the one defending the federal government’s actions. Since Paxton assumed office as AG in January 2015, Texas has sued the federal government more than a dozen times, raising questions about White House policy on such a wide range of topics as […]

“Fetal remains” rule put on hold

Good. A federal judge has delayed Texas’ fetal remains burial rule until Jan. 6. Judge Sam Sparks ruled Thursday afternoon that the Texas Department of State Health Services would have to push back its start date for requiring health providers to bury or cremate aborted fetuses. The agency had originally slated the rule to go […]

Fifth Circuit agrees to expedited appeal of overtime injunction

Good news and bad news. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted an expedited hearing for the Department of Labor in litigation over new overtime regulations. The Labor Department is seeking a hearing in its effort to overturn a trial court’s ruling halting the Obama administration’s proposed regulatory revisions that would have […]

California is the new Texas

Or will be, as far as litigating against the federal government goes. Gov. Jerry Brown has tabbed Rep. Xavier Becerra to serve as California’s interim attorney general, selecting the Los Angeles Democrat to fill a vacancy opened by the imminent departure of outgoing Attorney General Kamala Harris to the U.S. Senate. Assuming he wins confirmation […]

Texas v the feds, Endangered Species edition

One more for the road. For perhaps the last time before President Barack Obama leaves office, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit against the federal government for what he considers federal overreach, this time in an endangered species matter. […] One rule revises the definition of “destruction or adverse modification” of habitat. Under […]

Texas settles another lawsuit against VW

Hard to keep track, I know. Volkswagen will pay the state of Texas $50 million to settle a deceptive trade practices lawsuit brought against the automaker. The settlement is part of an $14.7 billion nationwide agreement to resolve the nation’s largest auto scandal. Volkswagen mislead consumers by promoting diesel vehicles as “clean” even though the […]

Judge issues injunction against overtime pay change

Because of cours he did. Millions of low-paid supervisors would have become eligible for overtime pay next week, but a federal judge in Texas blocked that path late Tuesday afternoon, ruling that Congress intended duties, not wages, to determine eligibility for overtime and minimum wage. U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, sitting in Sherman, issued […]

Off to trial for Paxton

No more appeals, so a trial is in the works. Lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are no longer asking to have a state securities fraud case against him dismissed, moving him closer to a trial on the criminal charges. Paxton’s legal team confirmed Tuesday that it was getting ready for a trial, five […]

Texas gets VW lawsuit settlement money

Not bad. Texas will receive more than $190 million for environmental mitigation under a multibillion-dollar settlement in the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal approved by a federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday. Volkswagen buyers will have the option of buybacks or repairs. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer authorized the $15 billion agreement, which was first […]

Feds to appeal transgender bathroom directive

Good. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to appeal a Texas judge’s injunctionbarring the Obama administration from implementing guidelines aimed at protecting transgender students against discrimination. DOJ attorneys announced in court documents Friday that they’ll file formal notice that they’re appealing the injunction to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on or before […]

Paxton sues Brownsville over bag fee

Of course he does. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is wading into another fight over local control; this one about plastic bags at grocery stores. The Republican on Wednesday sued the city of Brownsville over its $1 per-bag fee, started in 2011 to cut down on waste, calling it an “illegal sales tax.” “Clearly, Brownsville […]