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Posts Tagged ‘MALDEF’

Lawsuit filed over Pasadena Council districts

Good. For 41 years, Alberto Patiño has lived in Pasadena and seen a lot of changes there. Now Hispanics like him make up more than 60 percent of residents and about 40 percent of eligible voters. Patiño wants that reflected on city council. “I feel that we should have more representation on City Council that […]

School finance system ruled unconstitutional again

A little light reading for your holiday weekend. Nearly three years after more than 600 Texas school districts filed litigation challenging the state’s school finance system, a Travis County district judge has ruled in their favor. In an almost 400-page opinion released Thursday, District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin said that the state’s school […]

SCOTUS declines to hear Farmers Branch appeal

By all rights, this story should now be at an end. The U.S. Supreme Court brought closure Monday to the seven-year legal battle in Farmers Branch over a local ordinance that sought to ban landlords from renting property to people who are in the U.S. unlawfully. The high court declined to review a lower-court ruling […]

School finance retrial wraps

We’re back where it all began. The Texas Legislature failed to bridge funding gaps between wealthy and poor school districts despite partial restoration of funds that were cut, lawyers representing schools told a state district judge Friday. “They have put a Band-aid on a Band-aid on a Band-aid,” said Rick Gray, attorney for the Texas […]

School finance retrial, Day One

And they’re off, again. Back in the courtroom after a 2013 legislative session in which lawmakers added money back to the state public education budget, lawyers representing nearly two-thirds of Texas school districts argued on Tuesday that the funding boost was short term, and that other changes had increased costs for schools. “Any and all […]

School finance trial still moving ahead

Ready or not, here it comes again. A Travis County District Judge has decided to move forward with the state’s school finance trial despite some wavering about re-opening the case. Earlier this month Travis County District Judge John Dietz revisited an order to re-open the case, which takes a look at if the state is […]

So where does the school finance lawsuit stand?

Though Judge John Dietz issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in the school finance lawsuit back in February, he still hasn’t written his full decision yet. That’s because he wanted to see what the Legislature did this session, so he could take it into account in his opinion. Well, the session is over […]

School finance lawsuit starts today

Ready or not, the latest school finance lawsuit, which Judge John Dietz has called “the granddaddy of them all”, begins today in Travis County. The Statesman takes a look at the history of school finance and associated litigation, and how we got here. In a 2006 special legislative session, lawmakers reduced local school property tax […]

TREE lawsuit may proceed with the other school finance suits

We will have one big school finance lawsuit, not multiple separate suits. State District Judge John Dietz ruled on Tuesday that the claims from Texans for Real Efficiency and Equity in Education, a group of charter school supporters and parents, belong in the lawsuit. The decision ensures that case will proceed to trial on Oct. […]

More on Latinos and marriage equality

From the inbox: Twenty-one of the nation’s leading Hispanic organizations announced today their endorsement of a first-of-its kind, comprehensive public-education campaign called Familia es Familia aimed at strengthening Latino voices to build support within the Latino community for acceptance of LGBT family members. Public opinion polls show that Latinos really do lead the way when […]

A cheat sheet for the school finance lawsuits

The Trib has a useful guide to the six (so far!) lawsuits that have been filed over school finance. Texas’ latest round of school finance litigation adds some new players to the courtroom, with interests that are more varied than ever before. We’ve created a cheat sheet to help you keep all six lawsuits — […]

Latinos and marriage equality

You’ve probably seen some coverage by now of how African American views of marriage equality have shifted in its favor in the wake of President Obama’s announcement that he now supports it. But what about Latinos and their views? The recent news coverage and analysis of this issue has focused almost exclusively on comparing the […]

How about those new Latino Congressional districts?

In the end, not so much. Originally hailed by Latino leaders as a way to boost opportunities for their community, the newly redrawn Texas congressional map has led to a pair of white Democrats claiming the nominations in districts that were crafted with Latino majorities. The result could be that five of the state’s 36 […]

Abbott gives on legislative privilege

About time. In an effort to move to trial more quickly, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has quietly dropped his opposition to the Department of Justice’s request to take depositions from state lawmakers in the voter identification case. In March, Abbott asked a federal court in Washington to shield 12 state lawmakers from giving depositions […]

Fifth Circuit rules against Farmers Branch

I almost missed this. A federal appeals court has upheld the ruling that struck down a Farmers Branch renters ordinance aimed at banning illegal immigrants from rental housing in the city. The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday upholds the federal government’s right to control immigration laws through the Constitution’s supremacy […]

Weekend redistricting update

One more plaintiff has signed on to the Abbott map deal. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is now joining the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in saying that the state-backed Congressional District 35, a proposed new district that runs from Austin to San Antonio, is “constitutionally permissible,” according to the caucus’s chairman, state […]

While we wait for another deal, if there is one

Michael Li reminds us what comes next. The San Antonio court has scheduled a hearing on interim maps and the election schedule for next Wednesday, February 15, with briefs on a broad range of issues due this Friday. That gives the parties a week to continue talking, and it is possible further consensus could be […]

The numbers in the “deal”

As I start to type this I have no idea if the “deal” that was announced earlier today will be in effect or on the trash heap. I think it’s instructive to look at the numbers in the proposed maps anyway, since they give a good idea of how much the state was willing to […]

Redistricting settlement deal looking unlikely

Late last week we heard about the possibility of a settlement agreement in the San Antonio redistricting case that would allow for the creation of interim maps in time to keep the April 3 primary date. The court gave this Friday as a drop dead date for getting that done. As of today, it’s looking […]

Reports from SCOTUS redistricting arguments

There’s almost too much information to parse on the legal arguments made before the Supreme Court over the Texas redistricting maps. Let’s start with The Hill: The Supreme Court justices grappled to find a way to resolve a messy Texas redistricting case during oral arguments Monday morning, presenting then knocking down a variety of small-bore […]

A field guide to the school finance lawsuits

The Trib has a handy overview of the school finance lawsuits – who the plaintiffs are, who their lawyers are, and on what grounds they are suing. Among other things, it shows that I was correct in saying that there had only been three suits filed at the time that was written, with the Thompson […]

And then there were three

Three school finance lawsuits, that is. Flanked by Edgewood Superintendent Jose Cervantes, parents, students and community leaders from Texas districts, MALDEF attorney David Hinojosa highlighted three key claims in its suit at a press conference Tuesday. The lawsuit claims the state has shown inequitable treatment against property-poor school districts in violation of the Texas Constitution, […]

State objects to court-drawn maps

No surprise. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office on Friday slammed an interim redistricting map proposed by a three-judge panel in San Antonio, saying the federal jurists overstepped their bounds in redrawing House and Senate district lines that could cost Republicans a half-dozen seats next year. “Contrary to (a) basic principle of federalism, the proposed […]

The districts in dispute

The redistricting lawsuit in San Antonio wrapped up on Friday, so at this point all we can do is wait for the three-judge panel to issue its opinion, and for the DC Circuit Court to have it say on preclearance. You never know what judges will do, but there may be some tea leaves to […]

Even their own experts think the Congressional map is wrong

Final arguments in the federal redistricting lawsuit should be heard today in San Antonio. On Wednesday, something truly remarkable happened during the testimony of the state’s expert witness: A Rice University political science professor, testifying Wednesday in a lawsuit over the redistricting map approved by the Texas Legislature this year, said he would have advised […]

Redistricting litigation gets underway this week

Starting tomorrow, a three-judge panel in San Antonio will hear one of the two redistricting-related lawsuits that have been filed in Texas. I figure this is as good a time as any to review the landscape as we head into this, so here are a few links of interest. The Austin Chronicle has a Travis […]

DPS loses lawsuit over drivers license rules

This happened the week before last, but I’m not sure it will matter at this point. On [July 29], Judge Orlinda Naranjo ruled against the Texas Department of Public Safety and said that the agency could no longer require those here on temporary visas to prove they are in the country legally in order to […]

Two other views of Texas redistricting

Here’s a fascinating paper from the Harvard Election Data Archive that attempts to project how many Congressional seats each party will win based on statewide performance. Based on the 2008 presidential election results, twenty-two of the twenty-three current Republican members of Congress will be in districts in which Republicans are expected to receive 55 percent […]

Plans from an alternate universe: Uresti and Gallegos

Continuing with the Redistricting Plans From An Alternate Universe series, we’ve seen the Veasey-West proposal, now here are two more from the Senate debate. First, we have Sen. Carlos Uresti, who presented an amendment to Plan C136 that was aimed at drawing a Hispanic opportunity district in the D/FW area. Here’s a look at that: […]

The Seliger-Solomons Congressional map is out

And it’s a joke. Seriously, I can’t describe it any other way. Look at the following districts – go to http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/ and look up Plan C125 – and tell me how they can possibly satisfy any rational legal argument for compactness or communities of interest. Let’s start with CD36, which forms a giant Gateway-style arch […]

Veasey’s Congressional plan

We didn’t get a Congressional map from the Senate Redistricting Committee, though we may now get one in a special session but that didn’t stop State Rep. Marc Veasey from drawing his own before sine die. In Veasey’s map, thirteen of the state’s 36 districts would be minority districts, all of which would lean Democrat, […]

Chron story about the House redistricting map

Here’s what the Chron had to say about the initial redistricting map for the State House. I’m just going to focus on a couple of things: The statewide map creates one new Latino district, maintains the current number of black opportunity districts and pairs 16 incumbents in districts where they would face one of their […]

Let’s not look for excuses

Last week, MALDEF released a Congressional redistricting plan for Texas that was aimed at drawing two new Latino Congressional seats. Paul Burka has a complaint about one of the districts they drew. The other district in Plan 108C is the new 35th district, one of the four new seats that Texas is scheduled to get. […]

Farmers Branch loses in court yet again

Yet another loss in court for the city of Farmers Branch and its efforts to make apartment owners check potential renters’ immigration status. The City of Farmers Branch enacted ordinance 2952 in 2008 but today’s decision in the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Texas blocks the city from enforcing the ordinance. “The Court resoundingly […]