Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Ken Paxton’

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 […]

Texas cannot bar Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

Good. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled Tuesday afternoon that Texas clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood can continue to care for patients under the state’s Medicaid program, a phew-worthy victory for reproductive rights advocates and a loss for the state’s GOP leaders. In a 42-page ruling, Sparks wrote that the state’s arguments in the case […]

The legal case against the “sanctuary cities” bill

Ken Paxton says that the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill meets legal muster, and the state won’t get sued to smithereens if it passes. Not all lawyers agree with that. The office of the Texas Attorney General can no better predict when the Dallas Cowboys will win the Super Bowl than it can how an appeals […]

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 […]

Twice the trials, twice the fun

The Paxton special prosecutors want to separate the charges into two trials. Special prosecutors said Thursday they would like to try Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton first on charges he failed to register as an investment advisor, pushing a lengthy trial on his securities fraud charges until a later date. Kent Schaffer, one of the […]

FBI and IRS raid Sen. Carlos Uresti’s office

That’s never a good thing. FBI and IRS agents raided the San Antonio law offices of state Sen. Carlos Uresti on Thursday morning — confiscating documents and other items. A law enforcement source told the the San Antonio Express-News, which first reported the raid Thursday, that it was connected to Uresti’s involvement with a now-bankrupt […]

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 […]

Paxton prosecutors want change of venue

At this point, who can blame them? The prosecutors in Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud case are asking for a change of venue, arguing they cannot get a fair trial in Collin County. The prosecutors say Judge George Gallagher should move the case out of Paxton’s home county because he and his associates have […]

“Sanctuary cities” bill passes in Senate

As expected. The Texas Senate late Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a controversial immigration measure to ban “sanctuary” jurisdictions in the state. Senate Bill 4, filed by state Sen. Charles Perry, would punish local and state government entities and college campuses that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials or enforce immigration laws. The vote […]

Paxton prosecutor pay suspended

Whiplash! Collin County must immediately stop paying the three lawyers prosecuting Ken Paxton’s criminal fraud case, a Dallas court has said. The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas on Monday temporarily halted the payments — the result of a lawsuit filed against the county and prosecutors by a local taxpayer — and will consider a […]

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 […]

“Fetal remains” rule blocked

Good. U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks ruled Texas cannot require health providers to bury or cremate fetuses, delivering another blow to state leaders in the reproductive rights debate. On Friday afternoon, Sparks wrote in his ruling that Texas Department of State Health Services’ fetal remains burial rule’s vagueness, undue burden and potential for irreparable […]

Appeals court tosses Paxton prosecutor payment lawsuit again

Round and round we go. The three lawyers prosecuting Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton can continue to get paid, at least for now, a Dallas appeals court decided this week. For more than a year, local real estate developer Jeffory Blackard has waged a legal battle to keep the prosecutors from getting paid. Blackard alleges […]

State Supreme Court will take up same sex marriage appeal

Somehow, this wasn’t the worst thing that happened yesterday. After pressure from Texas GOP leadership, the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed course and agreed to take up a same-sex marriage case. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, the state’s highest civil court will reconsider a Houston case challenging […]

One for the road

How about one last lawsuit against the federal government, for old times’ sake? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday announced he, along with 13 other mostly Republican-led states, would sue the federal government yet again to block a recently finalized federal rule limiting coal mining near waterways. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and […]

Paxton courts the business lobby

Not sure what to make of this. Making his case for the “bathroom bill” to Texas business leaders, Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday that Senate Bill 6 would have a narrow focus, and he urged them to listen to parents “just concerned about the safety of their children.” […] Paxton, who has been battling […]

Here we go again with Planned Parenthood and Medicaid

Rooting for another injunction. Texas officials are back in federal court this week over abortion-related policy, this time to defend efforts to oust Planned Parenthood from Medicaid. Planned Parenthood has asked U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to block the ouster as illegal, unjustified and unfair — an improperly political move that could deprive about 11,000 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Paxton wants SEC’s documents on him

More twists and turns. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s attorneys have gone to court, seeking to force the Securities and Exchange Commission to produce notes of their interviews with the investors whose allegations form the basis of the civil case against him. Paxton’s attorneys filed the motion to compel the SEC to turn over the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Collin County Commissioners Court are a bunch of jerks

Unbelievable. In an attempt to lay the legal groundwork to quit funding Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s prosecution, Collin County is refusing to pay a longtime local attorney for his work defending indigent clients. On Monday, the Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to block payment to J. Matthew Goeller, a McKinney defense attorney who has provided […]

Paxton asks for SEC charges to be dismissed again

Once more, with feeling. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked a federal judge to once again dismiss a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission complaint accusing him of defrauding investors in private business deals in 2011. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III dismissed the SEC’s original complaint on Oct. 7, saying it contained allegations […]

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 […]

Collin County won’t fight its special prosecutor bill

For now, anyway. The Collin County Commissioners Court on Monday voted to take “a careful review” of the cost of prosecuting Attorney General Ken Paxton, while appealing to residents to set aside emotions and avoid attacking the court’s future decisions. “Regardless of how any vote comes down today, or future votes come down, one thing […]

Republicans take their desperate shot at limiting same sex marriage

Pathetic. After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed an amicus […]