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Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’

Ninety years later, we could still use an Equal Rights Amendment

I have three things to say about this. Drafted by a suffragette in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment has been stirring up controversy ever since. Many opponents considered it dead when a 10-year ratification push failed in 1982, yet its backers on Capitol Hill, in the Illinois statehouse and elsewhere are making clear this summer […]

It really is about more than just marriage

Jo Ann Santangelo writes for the Observer about what it means to be in a same-sex marriage that isn’t recognized as legal by the state of Texas. In 2012, my wife, Kate, and I traveled more than 3,400 miles from Austin and back to marry legally in New York City. Seven years earlier, in November […]

What anti-gay bills?

From Lone Star Q: Ken Paxton, the odds-on favorite to be Texas’ next attorney general, says he isn’t familiar with recent “license to discriminate” bills in Arizona, Kansas and other states even though he co-authored a similar measure in 2013. Gay Realtor and LGBT activist Bob McCranie asked Paxton about his position on the anti-gay […]

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. […]

A brief history of gay marriage legislation in Texas

From TM Daily Post. Gay marriage supporters have made massive strides in a very short amount of time. Less than ten years ago, gay couples couldn’t get married anywhere in the United States. While the progress they did achieve shortly thereafter involved victories, they were handed down by judges—rather than their fellow voters—and the term […]

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 […]

Ted Cruz argues against his own election

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I just don’t get this. Sen. Ted Cruz, elected 13 months ago by actual voters, said Thursday he’d prefer to see state legislators pick U.S. senators – as they were until a century ago, when the 17th Amendment came along. Direct election of senators has eroded […]

Will Texas wind up advancing the cause of same sex marriage?

Not voluntarily, of course, but it could happen. One couple wants to get married, while the other just wants theirs recognized. A third couple wants a divorce, while the fourth wants theirs finalized. If all win their lawsuits, they could overturn the Texas ban on same-sex marriage. A federal court in San Antonio will hear […]

There are no new ideas, but there are plenty of bad ideas

There’s so much wrong with what Greg Abbott wants for Texas that it’s hard to know where to begin. In his first major policy address as a gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Greg Abbott proposed tighter constitutional limits on state spending and increased constraints on the multibillion-dollar Rainy Day Fund. Abbott laid out his “Working Texans” […]

It’s about not wanting people to vote

Why take us back to the 1950s when we can go all the way back to the 1850s? Should voters be able choose their U.S. senators? Ask Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst or Sen. Dan Patrick and the answer is a resounding “No.” The two Republicans – both vying for the lieutenant governor seat – recently […]

Endorsement watch: For the amendments

The Chron stumps for the constitutional amendments on the ballot this year. It’s an off-year election, but Texas voters still have good reasons to go to the polls Nov. 5. In addition to local races, they’ll be deciding nine proposed constitutional amendments, including an important proposal to pay for water infrastructure by making a withdrawal […]

Mostly looking good for Prop 6

A good poll result for the water infrastructure Constitutional amendment. Texans support $2 billion in water infrastructure financing by a better than 2-to-1 margin, but nearly a quarter haven’t decided how they will vote on the issue this November, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. The respondents favored the measure, known as […]

The water campaign begins

The most high profile constitutional amendment now has a campaign behind it. Supporters are laying the groundwork for an aggressive effort to educate voters and drown out opposition with roughly one month before early voting starts. A coalition of political action committees and business groups are leading the push. The strategy will be bankrolled by […]

Meet your Constitutional amendments

The Trib runs down the nine proposed constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot this November. First on the ballot will be HJR 62, by state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, which would authorize the Legislature to provide a property tax exemption for the spouses of veterans. This amendment specifically authorizes a tax exemption for all or part of […]

First lawsuit filed against Texas Double Secret Illegal Anti-Gay Marriage amendment

Probably not a game-changer, however. A Galveston man filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging a provision of the Texas Constitution defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Domenico Nuckols, 60, said he believes he will prevail because of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage […]

There are other items on this session’s agenda

I know, hard to believe, but there are two non-abortion items on the session agenda, and the Senate has already taken preliminary action on two of them. Six hours before a marathon state House committee hearing on abortion, two Senate committees quickly kicked out less controversial bills on transportation funding and criminal justice reform to […]

What does the DOMA decision mean for Texas?

Last week, the day after the disappointing SCOTUS ruling on the Voting Rights Act, we got a much more heartening ruling on DOMA, declaring it to be unconstitutional. However, not all of DOMA was struck down. In a landmark Supreme Court decision on Wednesday, justices ruled that Section 3 of the 1996 law, which denies […]

Opposition gearing up for the water fund amendment

The legislation to create a state water infrastructure fund, and the joint resolution that authorized tapping the Rainy Day Fund for up to $2 billion to seed it, had a rocky road in the legislature and wasn’t completed until the last weekend of the regular session. Now the task is to pass the constitutional amendment […]

Hotze sues Obamacare

You would think that once the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional that that would settle things, but then you would not be Steve Hotze. Steve Hotze, a Houston-area physician and major Republican campaign donor who has built his career around alternative medicine, says he is filing suit against the federal […]

Abbott opines against domestic partnership benefits

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. The state Constitution prohibits government entities from recognizing domestic partnerships and offering insurance benefits to those couples, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in an opinion on Monday. In the nonbinding opinion, Abbott determined that local jurisdictions that offer such benefits “have created and recognized something” […]

Senate to tap that Rainy Day Fund

It is just sitting there, not doing any good if it’s unused. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, laid out an ambitious plan to spend $6 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund on Thursday morning while also setting the stage for a serious debate in the remaining weeks of the session on […]

Getting on the same page on marriage equality

Harold Cook asks a darned good question. As SCOTUS hears arguments on marriage equality this week, it reminds me of when the Texas Legislature voted for the state constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage in Texas eight years ago. Texas voters subsequently approved the measure that November by a 3-to-1 margin. I wonder if any of […]

SCOTUS same-sex marriage cases likely won’t affect Texas

Not yet, anyway. But it’s a matter of time. Charles “Rocky” Rhodes is a professor at South Texas College of Law. He says the case that involves the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is narrowly focused. “The provision of DOMA that’s under challenge here is the aspect of DOMA that prohibits the federal government […]

Repealing the Texas double secret illegal anti-gay marriage amendment

Some things you do because they’re the right thing to do. Reps. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, and Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, are seeking to reverse the state’s prohibition against gay marriage or same-sex civil unions. Their proposed constitutional amendments — HJR 77 and HJR 78 – would repeal a 2005 amendment passed by Texas voters that bans […]

Wolverines!

This would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. While advocates of Texas secession may have stalled with their online petition efforts, state lawmakers have filed numerous bills objecting to major White House initiatives and suggesting the state doesn’t have to abide them. Newly elected Sen. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, has filed a constitutional amendment […]

Another reason why spending caps are a bad idea

There are many reasons why, but this is one we haven’t encountered before. Several political observers well-versed in the state’s finances say that lawmakers could hit the state’s spending limit this session, complicating efforts to access the $11.8 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The Texas Constitution says the government can’t grow faster than […]

Fix what’s broken first

What Texas Watch says. Imagine this scenario. Texans are facing a physician shortage. Under-served rural and poor communities struggle to attract doctors to serve their needs. Politicians scramble to find a solution to the crisis. That is where we were 10 years ago. Things aren’t so different today. Back then, the lobbyists and political spinmeisters promised […]

Time once again to talk about expanded gambling

There’s a legislative session coming up, right? That can only mean one thing: A new effort to expand gambling in Texas. Track and gaming interests say voters should be allowed to decide whether to give Texas a shot at the benefits of $2.5 billion they say is wagered in surrounding states annually by Texans. “They […]

Are two courts better than one?

Why exactly do we need two top courts in Texas? A proposal for the upcoming legislative session is resuscitating a debate that goes back to the writing of the Texas Constitution in 1876. The bill, authored by state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, would abolish the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court […]

Are vouchers unconstitutional?

Attorney Kelly Frels makes the case that private school vouchers will not pass constitutional muster in Texas. State Sen. Dan Patrick has proposed that the state of Texas provide vouchers to help parents pay for private school tuition. Vouchers are bad public policy, and they are not permitted by the Texas Constitution. [...] From a […]

Margins tax back before Supreme Court

Yet another challenge to that unloved tax. The Texas Supreme Court [Friday] accepted a case that will decide whether the state improperly administers its business tax. Nestle USA argues that the tax violates the Texas Constitution’s requirement that taxes be levied in an “equal and uniform” manner, as well as the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection […]

Ames Jones resigns from the Railroad Commission

We have our answer about how confident she was in her defense of that lawsuit. Elizabeth Ames Jones resigned from the Texas Railroad Commission on Monday to devote herself full time to running for state Senate District 25, she said in a statement. State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, whom she is trying to unseat in the […]

That’s hitting them where they live

Clever. Railroad Commission Chairman Elizabeth Ames Jones vacated her office when she moved from Austin to run for the state Senate, and she should not be continuing to collect her monthly salary, a lawsuit filed [last week] alleges. In the suit, Austin attorney and former Travis County Judge Bill Aleshire alleges that Jones’ move of […]

Supreme Court upholds margins tax

The days of the much-unloved business margins tax may be numbered, but it won’t be the Supreme Court that is responsible for its demise. The Texas Supreme Court turned back a challenge to the state’s primary business tax, saying it doesn’t violate a constitutional ban on personal income taxes. The Constitution allows personal income taxes […]