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Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Paxton officially appeals redistricting ruling to SCOTUS

Here we go. Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up an appeal of a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas’ congressional districts. “It’s fitting that the Supreme Court hear this case, given that it ordered the district court in San Antonio to draw the congressional maps […]

Abbott loses nativity lawsuit

Merry secular Christmas! A federal judge ruled against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision two years ago to remove a mock Nativity display from the Texas Capitol that advocated the separation and church state. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled late Friday that Abbott “violated [the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s] clearly established First Amendment right to […]

Wilson sues HCC

It’s a thing with him. Dave Wilson, a District II trustee, is accusing Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, the board’s vice chair, of improperly voting remotely during a September trustee meeting. Board bylaws say that only trustees present in person can vote, though absent trustees can listen to the proceedings electronically. Wilson’s lawsuit says the meeting in question […]

No expedited appeal of voter ID

There’s no speeding this up. A federal appeals court Tuesday declined to have all 14 judges participate in the appeal over the Texas voter ID law — a decision that will keep the issue unresolved heading into the 2018 elections, one judge said. Civil rights groups, Democrats and minority voters who challenged the voter ID […]

More on the courthouse shuffle

The Trib takes a look at how things are going at the flooded-out Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Since Harvey hit Harris County in late August, one of the busiest criminal court systems in the country has suspended all jury trials. It’s just one of a slate of challenges facing the county’s justice system in […]

SOS halted from handing over voter info

Good. A Texas district judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos from handing voter information to President Donald Trump’s voter fraud investigation commission. The order, which came out Tuesday, adds Texas to a growing list of states not complying with the president’s investigation into the 2016 elections, which […]

Pasadena City Council approves settlement in redistricting case

It’s over. The Pasadena City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $1.1 million settlement agreement of a lawsuit challenging a city voting plan that a federal judge found diluted Latino voting influence. Councilman Cody Ray Wheeler said that after four years of litigation and $3.5 million in legal fees he was glad to see […]

Paxton trial delayed again

This will happen some day. I hope. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial has been put off for a third time. The judge in the securities fraud case against Paxton sided Wednesday with prosecutors who had been pushing for another trial delay because of a long-running dispute over their fees. The decision by Harris County District […]

SCOTUS takes up partisan gerrymandering

So much coverage on this potentially ground-breaking and earth-shaking case. Here’s the Washington Post: Opponents of political gerrymandering had reason for optimism at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the likely swing vote, appearing more in sync with liberal colleagues who seemed convinced that a legislative map can be so infected […]

Fifth Circuit hears bail lawsuit arguments

Big day in court. Amid a stream of pointed questions from the bench, lawyers for Harris County Tuesday asked panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss a lower court ruling that the county’s criminal justice system violated the constitution by holding poor defendants on low level offenses simply because they could […]

Lawsuit filed over untested rape kits

This could be a big deal. A former Houston woman is suing the City of Houston and a long list of current and former mayors and police chiefs for failing to investigate a backlog of more than 6,000 untested rape kits, and not identifying her attacker as a man who had been in a national […]

Pasadena will settle voting rights case

Excellent news. Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner on Friday asked the City Council to settle a voting rights lawsuit that led to national portrayals of the Houston suburb as an example of efforts to suppress Latino voting rights. The proposed settlement with Latino residents who sued the city in 2014 over a new City Council district […]

What should the people living near the dams have known?

More than they were told, is what they’re saying. A federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers claims government officials knew for years that water impounded behind Addicks and Barker dams would flood thousands of suburban homes during an extreme storm – and yet did nothing to advise or compensate property owners. The […]

Harris County files lawsuit against Arkema

More trouble for that nasty and troublesome chemical plant. Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday authorized the county attorney to file a lawsuit against Arkema over its struggles to manage stores of hazardous chemicals during Hurricane Harvey. The county’s Pollution Control Services Department found serious violations of the Texas Clean Air Act by Arkema, County […]

Ken Paxton REALLY wants your “sanctuary complaints”

What could possibly go wrong? Texans who suspect their elected or appointed officials of enforcing policies that protect undocumented immigrants can now file an official complaint with the office of the state’s top prosecutor. Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday announced his office is accepting sworn complaints against “sanctuary” jurisdictions that prohibit local police from […]

Don’t expect any further redistricting activity this year

Michael Li explains it all to you. In one-line orders today (here and here), the Supreme Court rejected a request by plaintiffs in the Texas redistricting case that the Supreme Court expedite appeals by the State of Texas. The plaintiffs’ requests would have sped up the cases by having the parties forgo the filing of […]

CCA stays Paxton prosecutor pay ruling

A bit of sanity at last, though we’re not out of the woods yet. Texas’ highest criminal court has stepped into the long-running dispute over the prosecutors’ pay in the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton, putting on hold a lower-court ruling that voided a six-figure invoice. In a decision Monday, the Court […]

Fifth Circuit partially unblocks SB4

Terrible. A panel of three appellate judges ruled on Monday that parts of the state’s immigration enforcement legislation, Senate Bill 4, can go into effect while the case plays out on appeal. Last month, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia halted the part of the bill that requires jail officials to honor all detainers. He also […]

Mostyn talks storm lawsuits

The Texas Tribune interviews Steve Mostyn, leading litigator in matters relating to storm damage, about what to expect after Harvey. TT: How will HB 1774 impact people after Harvey? MOSTYN: When you lower the penalties … if you lower them down to almost nothing and make it difficult for people to hire lawyers, then the […]

Fifth Circuit hears SB4 injunction arguments

Big day in court. The immediate future of Texas’ immigration enforcement law hinges on whether a three-judge panel in New Orleans was swayed Friday by the state’s attorneys that the legislation is essential to public safety and should not have been partially blocked by a federal judge days before it was scheduled to go into effect. Attorneys on both […]

Paxton prosecutors officially petition the CCA over their pay

Last chance. The special prosecutors in the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton are asking the state’s highest criminal court to help them get paid. On Tuesday, the prosecutors asked the Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse a ruling from a lower court last month that voided a six-figure invoice for work that […]

City goes to SCOTUS over same-sex spousal benefits

Good. The City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner filed a petition Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision that came down earlier this summer, concluding that states did not have to provide publicly funded benefits to same-sex couples, according to a news release from the city. The decision in Pidgeon v. […]

SCOTUS puts new maps on hold

Ugh. The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a serious setback to those hoping Texas would see new congressional and House district maps ahead of the 2018 elections. In separate orders issued Tuesday, the high court blocked two lower court rulings that invalidated parts of those maps where lawmakers were found to have discriminated against voters […]

Harvey and the elections

Labor Day weekend of odd-numbered years is considered to be the opening weekend of Houston election season. The filing deadline has passed, so the fields are set and people (supposedly, at least) begin to pay attention. Candidate forums are held, endorsements are made, Chronicle candidate profiles are written, that sort of thing. Sure, some candidates […]

Lawsuits filed over dam releases

This ought to be interesting. A group of flooded-out Harris County homeowners and businesses sued the federal government on Tuesday, accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of knowingly condemning their properties by releasing water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs after Hurricane Harvey. Bryant Banes, a civil attorney whose Heathwood home and his wife’s […]

Plaintiffs ask SCOTUS to back down in redistricting fight

This week’s update: The challengers told the justices that the Supreme Court lacks the power to review the state’s request because there is nothing to put on hold: The lower court has neither blocked the state’s current redistricting plan nor entered any orders to remedy the violations it found. Instead, the challengers emphasized, the lower […]

Lawsuit filed over Crosby plant explosion

This ought to be fun to watch. Seven first responders who were exposed to fumes from a chemical fire last week at a Crosby, Texas, manufacturing plant have filed suit against the plant’s owner, alleging that the company’s negligence caused them “severe bodily injuries.” The plaintiffs, who include police officers and medical personnel, say in the […]

Fifth Circuit stays voter ID ruling

Ugh. The state of Texas can use its revised voter ID measure for the upcoming November elections, a divided federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The 2-1 decision, first reported by Politico Tuesday night, came from a panel of three federal judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans — and it […]

Trump’s Justice Department goes all in on voter ID

Despicable, but what did you expect? Continuing a dramatic reversal on voting rights under President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Justice is asking a federal appeals court to allow Texas to enforce a photo voter identification law that a lower court found discriminatory. In a filing Thursday, the Justice Department asked the U.S. 5th […]

More on the SB4 ruling

Circling back to one of the big court decisions from last week, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern talks to ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt about what was blocked by federal Judge Orlando Garcia in the “sanctuary cities” lawsuit. Mark Joseph Stern: SB 4’s overarching goal is to compel all Texas law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration […]

Collin County wants its pay back

Of course they do. Collin County is about to start another fight over the prosecution of indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Since 2015, the county has been billed more than half a million dollars to prosecute Paxton, who faces securities fraud charges. But fresh off a court win that voided half of those costs, […]

State House map paused as well

Not a surprise, given the previous order. A lower court ruling that invalidated parts of the Texas House state map has been temporarily blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court. Responding swiftly to an appeal by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Justice Samuel Alito on Thursday signed an order to put on hold a three-judge panel’s unanimous ruling that […]

Second trimester abortion procedure ban halted

For now, at least. A federal judge has temporarily stopped Texas officials from enforcing a ban on the most common second-trimester abortion procedure, just one day before the ban was set to go into effect. Judge Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas granted a temporary restraining order Thursday, […]

Enforcement of SB4 halted

Excellent! U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 4, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s key legislative priorities that seeks to outlaw “sanctuary” entities, the common term for governments that don’t enforce federal immigration laws. The bill was scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, but opponents of the legislation, including […]