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Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

State asks SCOTUS to not take up HB2 appeal

They win by default that way, so why would they want to have to take their chances? Texas attorney general Ken Paxton on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away a legal challenge to the state’s abortion restrictions filed by a coalition of abortion providers. The abortion providers appealed to the high court […]

County sues VW for $100 million

Good. Harris County on Tuesday set in motion a $100 million environmental lawsuit against Volkswagen, claiming emissions from 6,000 diesel cars circulating on roadways in the region have caused harm to the population. County Attorney Vince Ryan said his review of filings indicated this could be the first government suit against the car company since […]

Oral arguments in birth certificate lawsuit

Here we go. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of undocumented parents and their U.S.-citizen children against the state Department of State Health Services, which has effectively blocked the children from obtaining birth certificates. The families allege that the department has violated the children’s constitutional rights […]

The latest example of how nuts our beer laws are

Ridiculous. The latest flashpoint between Texas beer lovers and state beer law is a 32-ounce aluminum can that bars and restaurants fill with beer and sell to be consumed off-site. The can, called a crowler, is praised for its convenience and ability to keep beer fresh for longer than traditional to-go packaging. The problem, state […]

Ethics investigator clears Farenthold

Some good news for a controversial Congressman. Ethics investigators struck a blow Monday to an ex-House staffer’s sexual harassment claims against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, nine months after the fired communications director filed suit in District of Columbia court. The Office of Congressional Ethics did not find substantial reason to believe Farenthold, 53, sexually harassed […]

Uber update, part 4

Here’s the last installment of the Chron/Al Jazeera analysis of how Uber is operating in Houston. Most of the story is about what parts of town have better service from Uber – short answer, inside the Loop – and how Uber is attempting to improve service in parts of town that have not been well […]

Craft beer lawsuit

This ought to be interesting. On the same day merger talk surfaced regarding the world’s two biggest beer companies, a small Dallas brewery announced its own effort to shake up the industry in Texas. Deep Ellum Brewing Co. launched the crowd-funded “Operation Six-Pack to Go” on Wednesday and said it had filed a federal lawsuit […]

$8 million and counting for voter ID litigation

Ka-ching. Republicans used their majority in 2011 to muscle through the Legislature a controversial voter ID law and new redistricting maps — and Texas taxpayers haven’t stopped picking up the bill for the state to defend those measures in courts ever since. Texas’ total legal tab to date: more than $8 million, data obtained under […]

When might we get a Supreme Court ruling on school finance?

When they’re damn good and ready is the usual answer for Supreme Court rulings, but in the case of school finance lawsuits they usually act with some measure of speed. Given past rulings and politics — three justices on the nine-member, all-Republican court are up for re-election next year — the consensus among experts and […]

Paxton loses again on same sex marriage

Good. Turning aside objections from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Travis County judge approved an out-of-court settlement Tuesday that recognizes the eight-year relationship of two Austin women as a common-law marriage. The settlement accepted by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ended an estate fight between Sonemaly Phrasavath and family members of the woman […]

Still working out Paxton prosecution costs

Collin County is still hoping to do this on the cheap. Collin County officials expect to budget $100,000 to prosecute Attorney General Ken Paxton, but hope to eventually slash that amount by two-thirds. The county Commissioners Court on Monday evening is expected to discuss how much it will cost to pay the three special prosecutors […]

Paxton asks judge to block EPA water rules in Texas

The basic story: Texas has asked a federal judge to block enforcement of a new rule that expands authority over which water bodies the U.S. government can regulate. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made the request Tuesday in an 88-page court document. The request comes in the wake of a federal court ruling in North […]

DPS seeks dismissal of Sandra Bland lawsuit

The expected response by the defendants. The Texas Department of Public Safety and Trooper Brian Encinia filed motions Tuesday to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit in the death of Sandra Bland, five days after Waller County filed court papers rebutting claims that it was responsible for her death in the county jail. DPS claimed immunity […]

The stakes in the voter ID appeal

Rick Hasen lays it out. Don’t worry, Chief Justice John Roberts assured the American public in that 2013 case, Shelby County v. Holder. Although states with a history of racial discrimination would no longer be subject to federal “preclearance” of voting changes because preclearance offends the “equal sovereignty” of states such as Texas, there’s always […]

Yes, there are some people complaining about the new bus routes

The Houston Press talks to a few of them. The 87 still runs—just not right here. While the previous bus network had 89 routes, the new one has 79—and as a result, low-income communities like Hersey’s lost access to 12 routes, while non-low-income communities gained three. That’s according to the April 2015 analysis Metro was […]

Uber’s class action lawsuit woes

Of interest. Uber’s business model is on the rocks late Tuesday after a federal judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit targeting the company’s treatment of drivers as independent contractors. The case is one of several high-profile suits brought by drivers against the technology start-up that has displaced traditional taxis in many markets. A California […]

State gets the bill for fighting same sex marriage

Please pay promptly. The attorneys for same-sex couples who successfully challenged Texas’ gay marriage ban in federal court are seeking nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in fees and costs from the state. In a 27-page motion filed Friday, attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in San Antonio asked U.S. District Judge Orlando […]

Paxton’s contempt saga officially ends

I’m sure he’s so relieved. A federal judge has canceled next week’s contempt-of-court hearing for Attorney General Ken Paxton, saying it is not needed because Texas government agencies have begun acknowledging same-sex marriages. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia had ordered Paxton and a state health official to appear in his San Antonio courtroom last month […]

Churches and recall elections

This ought to be interesting. Are Texas churches prohibited from campaigning to recall politicians? The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [weighed] that question Thursday in a case set to clarify if and how a church as a corporate entity can influence the political process of ousting a sitting elected official. A San Antonio congregation, […]

Abortion providers go to SCOTUS

I sure hope this works out. Texas abortion providers on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their legal challenge to two provisions of the state’s strict abortion law. After losing at the appellate level, a coalition of abortion providers is asking the high court for a reprieve from restrictions passed by the […]

Houston pleads its case to the Supreme Court

We’ll see how they did. “The point of all this is to protect the public and the environment, to have clean air, and the TCEQ, for the Texas Clean Air Act, envisions that it be vigorously enforced,” [Houston attorney Robert] Higgason said. “This is what the statute makes reference to — cities being allowed to […]

Houston’s environmental protection ordinances go to the Supreme Court

Where, sadly, they’ll likely get killed. State environmental regulators don’t adequately enforce air pollution laws, the city of Houston believes, and on Wednesday it will ask the state’s highest civil court to let it keep trying to do the job itself. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case challenging a pair of […]

Supreme Court to hear school finance appeal

We near the end of the road. This road, anyway. Shut out by lawmakers in their efforts to overhaul the state’s troubled education funding system, more than 600 school districts are now pinning their hopes for relief on the Texas Supreme Court. The high court will hear arguments on the volatile issue of school finance […]

State asks for full Fifth Circuit review of voter ID ruling

As you’d expect them to do. Continuing to protect a voter identification law that courts say discriminates against Hispanics and African Americans, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked a full federal appeals court to hear his arguments about why the state’s requirements at the polls do not violate the Voting Rights Act. In a […]

Wilson denied by Supreme Court

Some good news that came in late Friday. Anti-gay activist Dave Wilson’s attempt to amend City Charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms will likely not appear on the November ballot after the Texas Supreme Court on Friday denied his request for emergency action. Instead, Wilson’s legal […]

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 […]