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Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

Pointless “pastor protection” bill passes House

Whatever. The House tentatively approved Thursday a bill saying that Texas pastors, churches and religious institutions can’t be sued by private parties or penalized by government for spurning gay weddings. Many clergy, especially Southern Baptist ministers opposed to gay marriage, have testified they very much need the legal shield. “Maybe pastors won’t be sued. But […]

Another redistricting update

Once again from Russ Tidwell, writing at Letters from Texas. The three judge federal panel in San Antonio is nearing a final decision on redistricting litigation for the Texas House and congressional delegation. As previously discussed here, multiple weeks of trial have provided a mountain of evidence of intentional discrimination and dilution of the opportunity […]

Bell’s anti-marriage bill goes down

From the inbox, a celebration of victory: Civil liberties and LGBT rights groups tonight are hailing the failure by the Texas House of Representatives to pass HB 4105, which would bar the state from granting, enforcing or recognizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state bans on such […]

Senate belatedly addresses one voter ID concern

Better really late and at least mildly coerced than never, I guess. The Texas Senate, with scant attention during an early morning vote, gave its unanimous answer to a lingering question the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals posed about the state’s embattled voter ID law. Among the first votes taken by the chamber on […]

Anti-gay marriage bill set for House vote on Tuesday

Here it comes. House Bill 4105 would prohibit state or local tax money from being spent to “issue, enforce or recognize” a same-sex marriage. It also would ban any government employee in Texas from issuing a same-sex marriage license or recognizing such a marriage legally performed in another state. State agencies and county officials also […]

Texas plans to sue over EPA’s latest clean air plan

So what else is new? Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday that he plans to sue the Obama administration over the proposed “Clean Power Plan,” its plan to combat climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power plants. “Texas has proven we can improve air quality without damaging our economy or Texans’ pocketbooks,” the Republican […]

Texas’ uninsured rate drops dramatically

Amazing what can happen when a government actually tries to solve a problem, isn’t it? The rate of Texans without health insurance has fallen 8 percentage points since enrollment in the federal Affordable Care Act began, according to a new study. Texas’ sky-high rate of adults without health coverage — previously about 25 percent, the […]

SCOTUS finally tackles same sex marriage

We all know what went on at the Supreme Court yesterday, so I’m just going to link to some of the coverage: TPM Daily Kos 1 Daily Kos 2 Buzzfeed The Slacktivist Washington Post SCOTUSBlog analysis SCOTUSBlog liveblog I think we all know what the stakes are, but let’s bring it back to Texas, where […]

Fifth Circuit to hear Texas voter ID appeal

There’s more than one big appellate case being heard today. The Texas voter identification law will make a stop at a federal appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday on a likely path to the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller and lawyers representing plaintiffs, including the U.S. Justice Department, will present arguments […]

Ted Cruz still really dislikes gay people

Though he’s happy to take their money if they’re foolish enough to offer it to him. Nobody tell the adoring fans at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential announcement at Liberty University that he was palling around liberal New York City with well-known gay activists. On Wednesday, Cruz attended a small New York City event hosted […]

SCOTUS rejects North Carolina redistricting

Of interest. On Monday, the Supreme Court vacated a ruling from North Carolina’s highest court that had upheld Republican-drawn maps of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. While we don’t yet know what the final outcome will be, the court’s decision could have a real impact on one of the most aggressively partisan gerrymanders in […]

Two anti-gay bills advance

Look out. Gay rights advocates began sounding the alarm Wednesday after two anti-LGBT bills cleared House committees and another received a favorable hearing. Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, said if LGBT groups and their corporate allies don’t work quickly to generate the type of backlash seen over a religious freedom bill in […]

Fifth Circuit hears request to lift immigration injunction order

Always best to temper one’s expectations with these guys. An argument from U. S. Department of Justice lawyers that the state of Texas doesn’t have standing to challenge the Obama administration’s controversial immigration policy met with resistance from a pair of federal appellate judges Friday. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals […]

Ted Cruz really dislikes gay people

In case you were wondering. Riding a wave of conservative fervor over gay marriage and “traditional” social values, Texas Republican Ted Cruz has surged upward in national presidential polls and major donor support. But even as he rallied Thursday with Christian home school parents in Des Moines, Iowa, metrics chronicling a major national swing in […]

“Kicking and screaming”

Looks like we’re going to have to wait for SCOTUS to finally bring same sex marriage to Texas. Daniel McNeel Lane Jr., who represents two same-sex couples challenging Texas’ marriage ban, previously predicted the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would bring marriage equality to the state before Easter. But Lane said this week he […]

Once again to SCOTUS for Texas and the EPA

Plus ca change, and all that. Texas again went head-to-head with the Environmental Protection Agency before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, this time challenging federal limits on the emission of pollutants like mercury, acid gases and other toxic metals from power plants. Joined by 20 other states, Texas is arguing that the EPA didn’t […]

Backlash anti-gay marriage bill heard in committee

Turns out bigotry has a price tag. House Bill 1745, by Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), seeks to bar Texas officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognizing their marriages—regardless of whether courts determine the state’s ban is unconstitutional. More than a dozen witnesses gave nearly two hours of sometimes emotional testimony during a […]

The At Large trend

From Think Progress: Yakima, WA is one-third Latino, but a Latino candidate has not been elected to the city council for almost 40 years. Santa Barbara, CA is 38 percent Latino, but only one Latino has been elected to its council in the last 10 years. And Pasadena, TX is 43 percent Hispanic, but the […]

The scared institution of marriage

Smell the fear and desperation. Several hundred Christian fundamentalists gathered on the south steps of the Capitol today in a rally that was less about the defense of traditional marriage than about preparing for civil disobedience if, as expected, the U.S. Supreme Court later this year declares bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Beneath a sweltering […]

Lots of newly insured folks in Texas

Thanks, Obamacare! More than half of 1.2 million Texans who enrolled in private health insurance plans through the federally operated marketplace this year were new customers, according to a government report released Tuesday. The analysis from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said 57 percent of Texans who enrolled in 2015 – about […]

SCOTUS to hear same sex marriage appeal in April

Get ready. The Supreme Court will hear arguments over same-sex marriage on April 28 and make audio of the proceedings available later that day. The gay marriage cases mark the only time this term that the court has agreed to the quick release of audio recordings. But the court is continuing its ban on providing […]

Cleo and Nicole

You should read this Texas Monthly feature story on Cleopatra de Leon and Nicole Dimetman, two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to overturn Texas’ ban on same sex marriage. But it is children— their children—that prompted Cleo and Nicole to file a lawsuit in the first place. Their suit argues that “responsible procreation” ignores […]

Justice Department files request for stay on immigration ruling

As expected. The U.S. government asked a federal judge Monday to lift his temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s action to shield millions of immigrants in the country illegally from deportation. The Justice Department’s motion for a stay was filed with the court of U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas. The federal government […]

The backlash has begun

Item one. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to void a marriage license issued to two Austin women who became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the state. Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, who have been together for 30 years, said their vows on Thursday after state […]

First same-sex marriage in Texas happens

It may be the only one for awhile, but it will definitely not be the only one. Despite Texas’ longstanding ban on same-sex marriages, two Austin women made history on Thursday when they became the first gay couple to legally wed in the state. A judge directed the Travis County clerk to issue a marriage […]

Voter fingerprint ID

This has superficial appeal, but I don’t believe it holds up under close scrutiny. Fingerprints can now be used to unlock smart phones, car engines, even guns. Why not ballots, too? A New Mexico legislator has just proposed that his state’s election officials study the feasibility of a biometric voter identification system. The idea is […]

Same sex marriage plaintiffs ask Fifth Circuit to lift the stay

They’ve got a strong case, based on recent SCOTUS action. Attorneys for two gay couples are asking a federal appeals court to allow same-sex marriages to begin in Texas immediately. In a motion filed Thursday, attorneys for the couples asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a district judge’s stay of his […]

SCOTUS could really screw Texas on Obamacare

You know how all those Texans have been signing up for health insurance via the Healthcare.gov exchange? Every single one of them stands to lose if the Supreme Court decides to play politics. Nearly 1 million Texans have now signed up for health insurance on the federal marketplace, known as healthcare.gov. But Texas, and 33 […]

Oklahoma, where the same-sex weddings come sweeping down the plain

One of the most commonly made arguments for expanded gambling in Texas is that as long as we don’t have casinos, Texans will travel to neighboring states to spend their gambling dollars there. Well, that same argument can be made for same sex weddings, too. More than 3,000 same-sex couples have married in Oklahoma since […]

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 […]

The national fight against equality

Once again, Texas leads the way in an undesirable category. In Georgia, where lawmakers are considering a bill that critics fear could allow businesses to discriminate against gay customers, the former head of the country’s largest Protestant denomination recently urged lawmakers to reign in “erotic liberty.” The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in April […]

The last time Texas was in the minority on a marriage issue

Those who forget the lessons of history are likely to get an unfavorable SCOTUS ruling crammed down their throats. As the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue of same-sex marriage, Texas once again finds itself on the lonely side of a court fight involving the right to marry. Almost 50 years ago, Texas was […]

Texas Obamacare enrollments top 850K

And counting. Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services Wednesday announced nearly 860,000 Texans so far have enrolled in health insurance marketplace coverage with a month left still left to go until the 2015 open enrollment period ends. It’s unclear how many of those signups are new marketplace customers. Last year, nearly 734,000 […]

SCOTUS will take up same sex marriage

This is it. The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will take up four cases challenging state bans on same-sex couples’ marriages — a long anticipated move that could lead to nationwide marriage equality. The cases ask the justices whether Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee bans on same-sex couples’ marriages and bans on recognition […]