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Posts Tagged ‘MALDEF’

MALDEF gets injunction in recapture lawsuit

From their website: Please attribute the following statement on a Texas court ruling ordering state education officials to cease bypassing existing school funding rules to Marisa Bono, Southwest regional counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund): “MALDEF is pleased that the District Court saw through efforts by the Texas Education Agency to […]

More “sanctuary cities” plaintiffs gearing up

Local governments are not going down without a fight. On Tuesday, which organizers said was the beginning of a “summer of resistance,” Austin City Council member Delia Garza said the city will move this week to take formal action to stop SB 4 in the courtroom. “I am proud to announce today, with much gratitude […]

More “sanctuary cities” litigation in the works

Coming soon. Civil rights groups vigorously opposed to Texas’s new anti-“sanctuary cities” law – which would allow the jailing of sheriffs and police chiefs if they refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities – expect to file within the next two weeks long-awaited lawsuits seeking to block the measure, they said. They are prepared to […]

Justice Department will send election monitors to Pasadena

Okay. The U.S. Department of Justice is monitoring the Pasadena city elections as the suburb faces mounting federal scrutiny in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling that the city intentionally violated the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against Hispanics. Two observers will be present to ensure the Saturday elections are conducted smoothly, said C. […]

Big day for redistricting in court

Tomorrow the questions of what happens next in the redistricting lawsuits begin to get answered. Will Texas soon see new political maps that are friendlier to Latino and black voters and, in turn, Democrats? If so, who would draw them: the scolded Republican-led Legislature or the courts themselves? Will the maps land ahead of the […]

MALDEF files suit over change to recapture

This is a twist. Texas education officials illegally changed how property taxes are calculated in wealthy school districts, with the effect of substantially reducing the funds available for schools in poorer districts, a lawsuit filed Thursday charged. The change would cost the state’s poorer schools districts and their students approximately $440 million per year or […]

Voter ID 2.0 clears Senate committee

Seems likely this will go the distance. A Texas Senate panel cleared legislation Monday that would overhaul the state’s voter identification rules, an effort to comply with court rulings that the current law discriminates against black and Latino voters. The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-0 to send the legislation to the full chamber. Filed […]

Judge affirms Pasadena redistricting order

Back to the previous map, pending appeal. Hours after candidates began filing paperwork to run for city office, a federal judge Wednesday denied a request by Pasadena officials to delay her order that the city election be run under an 2011 election scheme to protect the rights of Latino voters. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee […]

Pasadena will appeal redistricting ruling

Not a surprise. An attorney representing the city of Pasadena said Tuesday the city will appeal a ruling that found Pasadena deliberately violated the voting rights of its Hispanic population, a move that could have immediate consequences for the city’s upcoming May elections. The attorney, C. Robert Heath, said the city disagreed with Chief U.S. […]

Final ruling in Pasadena redistricting lawsuit

It’s official – back to the original map. With candidate registration set to begin Tuesday, a federal judge Monday prohibited the city of Pasadena from using an unconstitutional redistricting scheme in the upcoming May elections, stating that the scheme violated the voting rights of Latino and Hispanic residents. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in […]

Judge rules for Pasadena plaintiffs

Wow. A federal judge in Houston dealt a major blow Friday to the city of Pasadena in a closely watched voting rights case, ruling that officials deliberately diluted the clout of Hispanic voters by revising the system for electing City Council members. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal ordered Pasadena to revert to its […]

Fifth Circuit hears immigrant harboring lawsuit appeal

This time it’s the state that’s appealing a lower court ruling. A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether a key portion of Texas’ omnibus border security bill is legal. Lawyers for the state of Texas argued that two landlords, and an immigrant services agency, who sued the state over […]

Pasadena voting rights case in the judge’s hands now

We await a ruling. Armed officers guarded a closed-door committee meeting. Discriminatory comments surfaced at City Hall. Latino-backed council members were hustled from chambers by police. The accounts of perceived intimidation and back-door dealings were detailed during testimony in a closely watched seven-day trial of a federal voting rights lawsuit that wrapped up Friday in […]

Pasadena voting rights trial update

Day One: The disparity in infrastructure is at the heart of a voting rights case that opened in federal court Thursday in which a group of Latino residents is challenging the city’s newly revised system of government, saying it discriminates against minority voters and intentionally dilutes their power. By creating two at-large council seats and […]

Pasadena voting rights trial begins

The Chron’s Mike Snyder provides an update. [This] week in a Houston federal courtroom, [the Voting Rights Act] will again be invoked in a challenge to an allegedly discriminatory council system, this time in a suburban city that’s undergone a dramatic demographic transformation. The lawyers involved in the case, Patino v. Pasadena, will face off […]

Lawsuit filed against Bexar County over voter ID info

We’re still fighting this out. An advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Bexar County for misinforming voters about the state’s voter ID rules. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), filed the lawsuit Friday afternoon on behalf of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP). MALDEF attorneys argue that since Monday, October […]

Voter ID problems still abound

Hardly a surprise. This much is clear after two days of early voting in Texas: Legal wrangling over the state’s voter identification law is stirring confusion at the polls. Amid Texans’ mad dash to polling places this week, the front end of 12 days of voting before Election Day, civil rights groups and some voters […]

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 […]

Immigrant harboring law blocked

Good. A federal judge has blocked part of the state’s omnibus border security bill that makes harboring undocumented immigrants a state crime. Under a provision of House Bill 11, which went into effect in September, a person commits a crime if they “encourage or induce a person to enter or remain in this country in […]

Is the Evenwel decision the last word on “one person one vote”?

Maybe not. With a long-running legal struggle raging over one of the nation’s strictest voter identification laws, Texas was already a prime battleground in a war between conservatives and liberals over voting rights. And on Monday, experts here and elsewhere say, the Supreme Court may have opened a second front. The court said unanimously that […]

What kind of ruling might we expect in the school finance case?

KUHF explores the possibilities. Four major scenarios to watch for: The Texas Supreme Court could not rule at all. Instead, it could send the case back to the lower court to see if the latest $2.5 billion dollars to the education budget solves the problem. “And the court could say, you know, we need more […]

MALDEF sues over provision of border bill

Worth watching. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, filed suit Sunday against Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and the Texas Public Safety Commission, which oversees the DPS. The group alleges that the state has violated the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause because immigration enforcement is only […]

Voter ID appeal report

The Trib reports from New Orleans. A federal appellate judge on Tuesday questioned why the Texas Legislature had not addressed concerns that its four-year-old voter ID law discriminated against minority voters. U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Catharina Haynes stopped short of rebuking state lawmakers while listening to attorneys spar over what are widely […]

Redistricting update

From Russ Tidwell, writing at Letters from Texas: There is well-established case law around redistricting that calls for creating a new minority opportunity district anytime a compact majority of a single minority group can be established (i.e., majority Black or majority Hispanic), but a combination of the two doesn’t necessarily count. While Texas is seeing […]

Don’t forget about Pasadena

There’s still a lawsuit in the works regarding their 2013 redistricting referendum that switched their Council from an eight-member all-district makeup to six districts and two At large seats, all at the behest of Mayor Johnny Isbell. Pasadena is preparing to change the makeup of its city council in a way that city fathers hope […]

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. […]