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Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Tweaking the Houston rideshare ordinance

From KUHF: A task force looking into improvements to the city of Houston’s ordinance regulating vehicles for hire, including Uber and other ride-share companies, made recommendations to a city council committee Tuesday. A key proposal is to adjust the requirement that 3 percent of a transportation company’s fleet provide wheelchair access. Toby Cole, who chaired […]

Divorce granted to same sex couple in Tarrant County

At some point, stories like this will cease to be news. It took two Tarrant County women nearly two years to legally end their failed marriage because of the tangle of state and federal law. But on Thursday, Brooke Powell and Cori Jo Long were finally divorced after a five-minute hearing before state District Judge […]

Paxton asks to be excused from contempt hearing

He promises he’s been a good boy, so can he please come out of time out now? Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office says he shouldn’t face a contempt hearing for failing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, and no longer needs judicial supervision to ensure he’s doing so. In an advisory […]

DOJ asks to get voter ID remedy ASAP

I concur. The Obama administration and several civil rights groups are urging a federal appeals court to fast track the process of temporarily fixing Texas’ voter ID law in time for the upcoming Nov. 3 elections. In court filings Thursday, the Justice Department and civil rights groups asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals […]

Regulating methane emissions

Get all your gas and fart jokes ready, because they’re just going to be inevitable. The Obama administration’s plan to slash methane emissions will raise costs for the oil and gas industry, forcing energy companies to invest in new pumps, compressors and equipment to prevent leaks of the potent greenhouse gas. Although the draft regulations […]

State ordered to pay fees in redistricting litigation

They don’t seem to be interested in doing that, however. In a scolding tone, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., ordered the state of Texas on Tuesday to pay more than $1 million in attorneys’ fees in a case challenging district boundaries drawn by the Republican-led Legislature. First under the direction of then-Texas […]

Siegler gets sued

Oy vey. Prominent former Houston prosecutor Kelly Siegler built a 20-year career out of securing convictions in tough murder cases, especially those that for years had been unsolved. It was that reputation for tenacity and pluck that landed the local legend a starring role on “Cold Justice,” a nationally televised reality show, after she left […]

The cost of defying the law on same sex marriage

Nearly $44K in attorneys’ fees, and it could have been worse. It has been a month since Joe Stapleton and Jim Cato finally got the marriage license Hood County Clerk Katie Lang denied them because of her religious beliefs. It only took a federal lawsuit to get it. Today that suit was settled, and according […]

Meyers voter ID lawsuit to proceed

An update on that other voter ID lawsuit. Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers claims that the state’s voter ID law violates the Texas Constitution, and the court ruled that the case will proceed after rejecting defendants’ arguments that the court lacked jurisdiction. Meyers—who filed the lawsuit as a private citizen, not as […]

State issues new guidelines for birth and death certificates

That was quick. The state has issued new guidelines for filing and changing vital records to recognize same-sex marriage status, as ordered by a federal judge in San Antonio In a court advisory filed late Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of State Health Services said they believe the new guidelines […]

Hempstead landfill would indeed hurt the environment

Raise your hand if this surprises you. Pintail Landfill developers backpedaled from arguments that their proposed dump site outside Hempstead would not harm the environment, agreeing for the first time this summer that their review of groundwater under the property was flawed. Environmental testing by opponents in preparation for a November hearing found that groundwater […]

Paxton files amicus brief in HBU contraception lawsuit

Of course he does. Female employees of religious nonprofits should not be given insurance coverage for birth control if their employers object to certain contraceptives on religious grounds, according to a brief filed at the U.S. Supreme Court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton’s “friend of the court” brief was filed Monday in support […]

Paxton gets a deadline

Better stick to it. In an order late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also instructed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office and the Texas Department of State Health Services to approve all pending applications for death and birth certificates involving married gay couples by that date. The judge is holding both agencies to their […]

Change to term limits will be on the ballot

Whatever. Houston voters will decide whether elected city officials should serve two four-year terms rather than three two-year terms starting in 2016, potentially lengthening the terms of some current council members. The City Council voted 12-5 Wednesday to place the item on the November ballot. Councilmen Richard Nguyen, Mike Laster, Steve Costello, Michael Kubosh and […]

Students against Dave Wilson

OUT SA, the website for out students and allies at Houston Community College, reviews a litany of Dave Wilson’s recent activities and discusses what can be done about them. Mr. Wilson has created a hostile environment for LGBT students, staff, and faculty of Houston Community College by these actions. In addition, with his last action, […]

Another Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed

Naturally, it originates in Texas. Today, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) sued the State of Texas, the Williamson County Elections Department, and the city of Round Rock for denying Asian American voters with limited English proficiency the right to […]

Paxton avoids contempt hearing

He accomplished this by folding like a lawn chair on the issue of same-sex death and birth certificates. Wednesday’s contempt of court hearing for Attorney General Ken Paxton and a state health official was canceled Monday after state officials agreed to allow death certificates to acknowledge same-sex marriages, a lawyer involved in the case said. […]

Voter ID may have had broader effects than we thought

Interesting. Texas’ strict voter identification requirements kept many would-be voters in a Hispanic-majority congressional district from going to the polls last November — including many who had proper IDs — a new survey shows. And the state’s voter ID law – coupled with lackluster voter education efforts – might have shaped the outcome of a […]

City appeals Wilson petition order

No surprise. The verdict on whether anti-gay activist Dave Wilson collected enough valid signatures to force a vote to amend the city charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms will have to wait. On Friday evening, the city appealed District Court Judge Brent Gamble’s order to count […]

And now we have a lawsuit over HERO repeal ballot language

Oh, for crying out loud. Last month the Texas Supreme Court suspended the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, more commonly known as HERO, and ordered City Council to either repeal the non-discrimination measure or put it up for a public vote. On Wednesday council voted 12-5 for the latter, and in November Houston voters will be […]

State Health Services department finally amends that death certificate

Good. Complying with a federal court order, Texas has issued an amended death certificate acknowledging a Conroe man as the husband of a same-sex spouse who had died in January. The men had been married in New Mexico in 2014, when Texas still banned gay marriage. Shortly after the change was made Thursday night, state […]

Sandra Bland’s mother sues DPS and Waller County

Can’t say this is a surprise. The mother of Sandra Bland filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Texas Department of Public Safety trooper and several others she deems responsible for the death of her 28-year-old daughter at the Waller County Jail in mid-July. Geneva Reed-Veal is seeking a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages […]

Fifth Circuit affirms that Texas voter ID law violates Voting Rights Act

Good. Texas’ four-year-old voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act but is not a “poll tax” barred under the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court has ruled. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that the Texas voter ID law – signed into law in 2011 – has a “discriminatory effect” […]

There’s more to complying with SCOTUS than issuing marriage licenses

Looks like Ken Paxton may get to learn that the hard way. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas must recognize the same-sex marriage of a Conroe resident by naming him as the surviving spouse on his late husband’s death certificate. And U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and […]

Pastors file a lawsuit over HERO

I have three things to say about this. Organizers of the anti-Houston Equal Rights Ordinance petition have filed suit against Mayor Annise Parker, saying she and unnamed “conspirators” unconstitutionally rejected valid petition signatures and “smothered the Citizen Referendum Petition in the crib.” (Gotta love a lawsuit whose opening salvo includes infanticide imagery!). Filed by four […]

Not everyone wants Texas to sue the EPA again

It won’t mean anything to those that are hell-bent on suing, but it is worth keeping in mind. President Obama is set to unveil the nitty-gritty of his sweeping, state-by-state plan to fight climate change this week — his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power […]

I’m not the only one who thought the state’s response to the birth certificate lawsuit was specious

Actual legal experts didn’t think much of it, either. The state of Texas can’t hide behind sovereign immunity to escape a lawsuit for denying birth certificates to U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants, the director of the University of Texas’ Transnational Worker Rights Clinic said Tuesday. That state’s claim of immunity is mere “boilerplate,” said […]

Split decision on cross-state air pollution rule

Not too bad, actually. Texas’ Republican leaders and environmentalists are both claiming victory Tuesday following an appeals court ruling that requires the federal government to ease limits on certain emissions for Texas and a dozen other states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to revisit […]

Judge rules Wilson petitions must be counted

Thanks, Supreme Court. Thanks a hell of a lot. City of Houston officials must count the signatures on a petition filed by anti-gay activist Dave Wilson, who is seeking a vote to amend the city charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms, a judge ruled Tuesday. State […]

Woodfill is still pursuing his anti-same-sex benefits lawsuit

From the inbox and the febrile mind of Jared Woodfill: Last year Houston Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction and ordered Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston to immediately stop recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ and stop providing benefits to the same-sex couples married in other states. Judge Millard stated, “This court does […]

Hall for all the haters

He is who we thought he was. Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall said Thursday he signed a petition seeking to define gender identity and prevent men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms because he wants to protect the right to vote. Hall’s press conference at his Montrose law firm comes […]

BP settlement cash

Nice. The city of Houston, Harris County and Metro netted $23 million in compensation from BP for revenue they could not collect in the wake of the company’s 2010 Gulf oil spill, officials announced Thursday. Houston will pocket about $12.2 million from the costliest environmental lawsuit in U.S. history to cover hotel and sales tax […]

Supreme Court rules HERO must be repealed or voted on

Ugh. The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that Houston City Council must repeal the city’s equal rights ordinance or place it on the November ballot. The ruling comes three months after a state district judge ruled that opponents of Houston’s contentious non-discrimination ordinance passed last year failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a […]

State wants birth certificate lawsuit dropped

I don’t know about that. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal district judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a state agency violated the U.S. Constitution by denying birth certificates to U.S.-citizen children of immigrant parents. Attorneys with Paxton’s office said that the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is […]