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Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Early eminent domain dispute for Texas Central

It was over before it started. Lawyers for a proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas withdrew their request for entry to a local landowner’s property, after opponents and the landowner opposed it in front of a Harris County judge, according to opponents of the project. “It is a great day for the vindication […]

Back to court for the Clean Power Plan

Here we go. One of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s final acts on Earth may have been to doom it. Last February, on the final Tuesday of Scalia’s life, the Supreme Court handed down a 5–4 decision suspending the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. It was a surprising development — a lower court panel that included a […]

The next abortion lawsuit should be on its way

We were warned it would need to happen. Despite intense outcry from the medical community, reproductive rights advocates and funeral directors, Texas isn’t budging on a proposed rule to require the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Following an initial public comment period that sparked medical concerns and a legal threat, Texas health officials have […]

McMullin will “appear” on the ballot

To the extent that a write-in candidate “appears” on the ballot, anyway. Texas voters will be able to vote for former CIA operative Evan McMullin for president in November. The Texas secretary of state’s office on Friday certified McMullin, who is running as an independent, as a write-in candidate for the general election. McMullin, a […]

School district to join lawsuit over STAAR test

Interesting. Ben Becker, the Houston father who helped organize a legal fight over last year’s STAAR exams, has repeatedly challenged superintendents over the last few months to join him in court to fight for their students. Becker describes his group as a handful of Texas parents up against the state of Texas, backed by a […]

State files inevitable voter ID appeal to SCOTUS

As expected. Texas wants to take its voter identification battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the justices to hear his arguments about why the state’s photo ID requirements for voting do not discriminate against Hispanics and African-American voters. “Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is essential to […]

ACLU intervenes in transgender health care suit

Good for them. The ACLU and ACLU of Texas are getting involved in a lawsuit over a regulation in the Affordable Care Act. In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against federal regulations that prohibit healthcare discrimination against people who are transgender. The lawsuit was announced by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Franciscan […]

More on the Sandra Bland settlement

State Rep. Garnet Coleman is working to implement the reforms mandated by the Sandra Bland lawsuit settlement. House Democrats sparred with state law enforcement officials over questions of racial profiling Tuesday at a sometimes contentious hearing. It was the latest in a series of House County Affairs Committee hearings on policing in advance of the […]

We continue to cower in fear of Syrian refugees

Sheesh. As part of its ongoing fight to keep Syrian refugees out of the state, Texas is threatening to withdraw from the nation’s refugee resettlement program if federal officials refuse to “unconditionally approve” a state plan requiring additional vetting of relocated people. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday said the state had informed the Office […]

Judge orders state to reword its voter ID outreach materials

Let’s try this again, shall we? In the continuing fight over Texas’ voter ID law, a federal judge on Monday ordered state officials to change, where possible, the language used to inform voters and poll workers about acceptable voting procedures for the November election, according to a lawyer for those challenging the state law. U.S. […]

Texas versus the feds, Overtime Pay Edition

Hey, look, it’s another lawsuit filed by Texas against something the Obama administration did that our AG doesn’t like. Texas is helping lead a lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration over a new rule that makes millions of more workers eligible for overtime pay. Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Tuesday he is joining his counterpart […]

Spending money to defend our terrible bail practices

Ugh. About $170,000 in tax money has been paid to outside attorneys to defend Harris Country officials from a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that the bail bond system discriminates against poor people, records show. That’s more than the cost of a six-month pilot project that would have provided attorneys for indigent misdemeanor offenders at […]

Texas v. the Feds: Telemedicine edition

Here’s a new one. Teladoc, the Dallas-based company that sued Texas over its telemedicine regulations, has a new ally in the Federal Trade Commission. In a letter sent to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court late Friday, the federal antitrust agency sided with Teladoc in the company’s legal battle, criticizing the Texas Medical Board for allegedly […]

Family of Sandra Bland settles its lawsuit

I hope this brings them some peace, but more importantly I hope it leads to fewer inmate deaths, in Waller County and elsewhere. The family of Sandra Bland — who died last year in a Waller County Jail cell — has reached a settlement with Texas officials in a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer for […]

Hearing on voter ID outreach set for Monday

Once more into the breech, to see if the state needs to get slapped down again. Texas officials will be back in federal court next week to defend the state’s voter ID law, this time against accusations that they have failed to comply with judge-ordered changes for the November election. Monday’s hearing comes at the […]

City loses in appeal against firefighters’ pension statute

Here’s a pension fund-related litigation update for you. Houston can’t overhaul a state-governed firefighter pension system that the mayor claims is pushing the city towards insolvency, a Texas appeals court ruled. Houston sued the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund in January 2014, seeking a declaration that a state law setting how the fund is […]

Federal lawsuit filed in Alabama over statewide judicial elections

There are now at least two lawsuits like this in the federal courts. Tuscaloosa reverend Curtis Travis has been voting his whole life in Alabama. While nearly one-fourth of the voting population, like him, is black, the three highest courts in the state are entirely white, and have been so for more than a decade. […]

The bigger debtors’ prison problem

It’s not just Harris County. Last week, an Amarillo attorney released documents that he said showed the city jailed disabled people simply because they were unable to pay municipal fines. According to the Amarillo Globe-News, the victims of this apparent debtors’ prison system include “a disabled veteran on social security who owed $539; a woman living on $490 […]

State Supreme Court declines to hear lawsuit over city’s same-sex partner benefits

I had totally forgotten this was still a thing that was happening. The Texas Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging Houston’s extension of health and life-insurance benefits to same-sex spouses of married employees, calling an apparent end to three years of legal battles over the policy change. Houston began offering employment benefits […]

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 […]

Paxton’s dinner with the Briggle family

So he did go, and he managed to behave himself. Lots of preparation led up to the moment, but Amber and Adam Briggle still exchanged nervous looks when their doorbell rang about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. “I was terrified,” Amber Briggle said. They had invited Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his wife, Angela, to come […]

What the Harris County Clerk is saying about voter ID requirements

From the inbox: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart reminds Texas voters who cannot obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID that they now have additional options when voting in person. “My office is working to make sure all voters in Harris County are ready to cast a ballot,” said Stanart. “These new options for […]

Three updates on county-related lawsuits

Update #1: Judges sued as part of Harris County federal court bail challenge. Attorneys challenging the constitutionality of Harris County’s pretrial bail policies have added all 16 of Harris County’s misdemeanor court judges as defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit this week after mediation aimed at settling the dispute broke down after only two […]

State appeals dismissal of anti-refugee lawsuit

Because of course it does. Texas is appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit against the federal government and a refugee resettlement agency over the placement of Syrian refugees in the state. In a notice dated Aug. 12, Texas alerted the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that it would appeal a June decision by Dallas-based […]

You are now free to visually blight Texas highways

WTF? Opponents of billboards and other signs along Texas roadways reacted on Monday with dismay to an appeals court decision striking down significant portions of the Texas Highway Beautification Act, saying the ruling could lead to a litany of signs along federally funded highways. The Third District Court of Appeals in Austin issued the decision […]

Texas begins its voter ID education outreach

For what it’s worth. Texas on Wednesday kicked off a voter education campaign ahead of the November elections amid heightened scrutiny of the state’s voter ID law. Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and minority rights groups, the state is required to spend $2.5 million to educate voters about its voter ID […]

Independent candidate lawsuit update

There’s already been a lawsuit filed by a wannabe independent candidate for President seeking to get on the ballot in Texas, but not by that guy you might have heard of. It’s still up in the air whether Evan McMullin, a former CIA agent who declared his presidential candidacy this month, will make it on […]

Paxton encourages schools to discriminate against transgender students

From the ACLU of Texas: [Friday], the ACLU of Texas issued a letter to Texas school districts outlining their ongoing legal responsibility to provide transgender students access to educational opportunities and school facilities on the same basis as all other students. Yesterday, the State of Texas issued its own “guidance” letter to Texas schools regarding […]

How is the state going to do its voter ID education outreach?

You don’t need to know. Texas will spend $2.5 million to spread the word about changes to the state’s voter ID law before the November election, but will not release details of how that money will be spent. More than half of that taxpayer money will be spent on advertising, but officials will not say […]

Microbreweries win their distribution rights lawsuit

Excellent news. A Texas law that prohibits brewers from selling territorial rights to distribute their beer is unconstitutional, a judge ruled Thursday, serving up a major victory to beer companies seeking to expand their presence in stores, bars and restaurants throughout the state. The decision says the government has no compelling interest in prohibiting brewers […]

Pasadena voting rights case moves forward

Good news. A federal judge has denied Pasadena’s request to throw out a lawsuit challenging its controversial city council redistricting plan, which a group of Hispanic and Latino residents alleges dilutes the voting rights of the suburb’s growing minority population. Judge Lee Rosenthal’s ruling Wednesday after a roughly two-hour court hearing means the case continues […]

No injunction against HISD school name changes

The changes can remain, at least for now. A civil court judge has declined to stop the Houston school district from changing the names of eight campuses that were named after Confederate loyalists. Judge John Wooldridge this week denied a request by several taxpayers suing the district to temporarily halt the renaming of the schools […]

Schedule set for voter ID discrimination arguments

The next phase of the voter ID litigation will begin shortly after Election Day. A federal judge has scheduled oral arguments for Jan. 24 to determine if the Texas Legislature approved a voter ID law in 2011 with the intent to discriminate against minorities. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that […]

When is Texas going to file that voter ID appeal?

The Lone Star Project would like to know. Last week, Texas AG Ken Paxton made a big show in the press by announcing that he would file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the ruling of the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals that the Texas voter ID law is discriminatory in violation […]