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Posts Tagged ‘Justice Department’

Plaintiffs again ask for voter ID law to be tossed

Again I agree with them. Minority groups have asked a federal judge to scrap Texas’ voter identification law and place the state under the jurist’s supervision for at least a decade, according to court filings this week. Not only are the groups taking on the state over the law they say discriminates against blacks and […]

Trump DOJ says all is swell with voter ID now

Of course they do. Texas’ new voter identification law fully absolves the state from discriminating against minority voters in 2011, and courts should not take further action in a battle over the state’s old voter ID law, President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice argued in a legal filing Wednesday. “Texas’s voter ID law both guarantees to […]

Texas will turn over some voter info to Trump vote “fraud” commission

I have three things to say about this: Texas will hand over personal information of the state’s more than 15 million voters to President Donald Trump’s commission that is looking into voter fraud. Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said his office will share any publicly available information with Trump’s commission as requested, including the names, […]

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 […]

Next round of voter ID briefs ordered

Moving right along: With the next election season looming, a federal judge has set a fast-paced schedule for determining whether Texas should be penalized for a voter ID law found to have been written by Republicans to intentionally discriminate against minority voters. Saying no additional hearings will be needed, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos gave […]

Feds join the state in defense of SB4

I suppose this was to be expected. About a month ago, the city of El Cenizo filed a lawsuit against the state, calling the bill unconstitutional. On Monday, the Trump administration got involved. The defendants in the lawsuit are the state of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The fight started […]

Ogg joins with other DAs in criticizing new Justice Department sentencing guidelines

As well she should. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg on Friday joined 30 other sitting and former district attorneys in a letter protesting U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent push for harsher sentences in America’s federal courts. “This is a return to a failed policy of a generation ago,” Ogg, a Democrat, said of […]

Justice Department will send election monitors to Pasadena

Okay. The U.S. Department of Justice is monitoring the Pasadena city elections as the suburb faces mounting federal scrutiny in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling that the city intentionally violated the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against Hispanics. Two observers will be present to ensure the Saturday elections are conducted smoothly, said C. […]

ADA voting rights lawsuit update

Interesting. A federal judge in Houston put Harris County on notice Friday that the scope of accessibility violations at local polling places could be so vast that a special master may be needed to sort them out. U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett said he is considering an independent review of the county’s 765 polling […]

Some Texas voting rights lawsuit updates

This has been a busy week for litigation related to voting rights issues in Texas. Here are updates to some cases, all of which happened this past week. From Texas Redistricting: The three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case has set a status conference for April 27, at 9:30 a.m. in San Antonio to discuss […]

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 […]

Court rules several Congressional districts were illegally drawn

Bam! Some of Texas’ 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act, a panel of federal judges ruled Friday. In a long-delayed ruling, the judges ruled 2-1 that the Texas Legislature must redraw the political maps it most recently used for the 2016 elections. Specifically, they pointed to Congressional […]

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 […]

Justice Department wants out of voter ID case

As expected. The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Monday it plans to ditch its longstanding position that Texas lawmakers purposefully discriminated against minority voters by passing the nation’s strictest voter identification law in 2011. The move comes one day before a federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on that high-stakes voting rights question, and […]

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 […]

Trump Justice Department to drop appeals in transgender bathroom directive case

From ThinkProgress: The Trump administration has elected not to contest a Texas federal judge’s injunction barring the federal government from implementing Obama administration guidelines that protect transgender kids in schools. Oral arguments for the Obama Justice Department’s appeal of the judge’s decision were scheduled for Tuesday. The DOJ cancelled them in a legal brief submitted […]

Interview with Jose Garza

So it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the voter ID litigation. There was the motion by the Justice Department to delay the hearing on whether the law was passed with discriminatory intent, which everyone expects is a prelude to them switching sides in the case. Then there was the decision by the Supreme […]

So what will the Justice Department do with voter ID now?

We don’t know yet. Hours after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, the Department of Justice filed to postpone a hearing on the Texas Voter ID law. The request was granted. The DOJ had previously argued that the law intentionally discriminated against minority voters, but told the court it needed additional time for the new administration […]

SCOTUS will not review voter ID ruling

For now. The Supreme Court issued orders from its January 19 conference this morning. After granting review in two cases from that conference last week, the justices did not add any new cases to their merits docket today. But there was one notable denial on today’s order list: Abbott v. Veasey, the challenge to a […]

Voter ID hearing postponed

I fear this is a portent of things to come. Within hours of Donald Trump being sworn in as president Friday, a Corpus Christi federal court postponed a scheduled hearing in the Texas Voter ID case until next month at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. Lawyers for the Justice department asked for […]

Pasadena will appeal redistricting ruling

Not a surprise. An attorney representing the city of Pasadena said Tuesday the city will appeal a ruling that found Pasadena deliberately violated the voting rights of its Hispanic population, a move that could have immediate consequences for the city’s upcoming May elections. The attorney, C. Robert Heath, said the city disagreed with Chief U.S. […]

Final ruling in Pasadena redistricting lawsuit

It’s official – back to the original map. With candidate registration set to begin Tuesday, a federal judge Monday prohibited the city of Pasadena from using an unconstitutional redistricting scheme in the upcoming May elections, stating that the scheme violated the voting rights of Latino and Hispanic residents. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in […]

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 […]

Judge rules for Pasadena plaintiffs

Wow. A federal judge in Houston dealt a major blow Friday to the city of Pasadena in a closely watched voting rights case, ruling that officials deliberately diluted the clout of Hispanic voters by revising the system for electing City Council members. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal ordered Pasadena to revert to its […]

Motion filed to compel redistricting ruling

From the Lone Star Project: The major plaintiffs challenging the Texas congressional and State House boundaries filed a joint motion earlier today to compel the three-judge federal district court in San Antonio to finally issue a decision on their claims that the Texas maps adopted in 2011 are discriminatory in violation of the Voting 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 […]

Two more lawsuit updates

The ban on the transgender bathroom rule remains in place pending appeals. Continued lack of access in public schools to bathrooms matching transgender persons’ gender identity won’t cause them irreparable harm, a Texas federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Reed O’Connor of Wichita Falls, Texas, made that finding Sunday in ruling against two federal executive […]

So now what for voter ID?

It’s hard to say how much prospects have changed now that Donald Trump gets to appoint the ninth Supreme Court justice, but it’s fair to say that thing haven’t improved for the plaintiffs. Five years ago, Texas passed one of the strictest Voter ID laws in the country. The legal fight began immediately and has […]

Election Day observers coming from Justice Department over ADA complaints

That’s a complicated headline for this story. Six teams of Justice Department officials will be dispatched to observe Election Day voting at 75 polling locations in Harris County as part of an investigation into allegations that the county failed to provide reasonable access to mobility-impaired voters. Harris County will field its own teams on Election […]

SCOTUS rejects reconsideration of immigration ruling

Alas. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined the Obama administration’s request to reconsider a controversial immigration program that would have let millions of undocumented immigrants stay in the country legally. The program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, would have shielded about 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. It was scheduled […]

State accused of misleading on voter ID education outreach

I know, I’m as shocked as you are. The federal government is accusing Texas of circulating “inaccurate or misleading information” to poll workers and would-be voters about relaxed identification requirements for the November elections. “Limited funds are being spent on inaccurate materials,” the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a legal filing Tuesday. The filing […]

Bail practices lawsuit update

There was a hearing in court this week, and the judge was skeptical. U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal declined Thursday to rule on whether Harris County should be dismissed from a lawsuit intended to force officials to reform a tough bail system in which more than 70 percent of jail inmates are being held pretrial. […]

No ruling yet in potty lawsuit

We should get one soon, at least as far as the request for an injunction goes. U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor did not issue a ruling from the bench after an almost two-hour long hearing during which state attorneys — as part of a Texas-led, 13-state effort to block the guidelines — argued they […]