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Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

Back to court for the Clean Power Plan

Here we go. One of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s final acts on Earth may have been to doom it. Last February, on the final Tuesday of Scalia’s life, the Supreme Court handed down a 5–4 decision suspending the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. It was a surprising development — a lower court panel that included a […]

State files inevitable voter ID appeal to SCOTUS

As expected. Texas wants to take its voter identification battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the justices to hear his arguments about why the state’s photo ID requirements for voting do not discriminate against Hispanics and African-American voters. “Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is essential to […]

You are now free to visually blight Texas highways

WTF? Opponents of billboards and other signs along Texas roadways reacted on Monday with dismay to an appeals court decision striking down significant portions of the Texas Highway Beautification Act, saying the ruling could lead to a litany of signs along federally funded highways. The Third District Court of Appeals in Austin issued the decision […]

Texas begins its voter ID education outreach

For what it’s worth. Texas on Wednesday kicked off a voter education campaign ahead of the November elections amid heightened scrutiny of the state’s voter ID law. Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and minority rights groups, the state is required to spend $2.5 million to educate voters about its voter ID […]

When is Texas going to file that voter ID appeal?

The Lone Star Project would like to know. Last week, Texas AG Ken Paxton made a big show in the press by announcing that he would file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the ruling of the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals that the Texas voter ID law is discriminatory in violation […]

Texas to appeal voter ID ruling to SCOTUS

Sure, whatever. Texas plans to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a lower court decision that found the state’s voter ID law discriminates against minorities. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office said Tuesday it will appeal the ruling to the high court “to protect the integrity of voting in the State of Texas.” […]

Voter ID changes approved

We’re all set. Texas’ voter ID law, cast as the strictest in the nation, will be substantially watered down during November’s election after a federal judge Wednesday approved a deal that allows those lacking required identification to cast a ballot by signing an affidavit. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos agreed to terms worked out […]

SCOTUS blocks order on transgender bathroom access for students

For now. The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily blocked a court order that had allowed a transgender boy to use the boys’ bathroom in a Virginia high school. The vote was 5 to 3, with Justice Stephen G. Breyer joining the court’s more conservative members “as a courtesy.” He said that this would preserve the […]

Get ready for the next abortion lawsuit

Expect it in a couple of months. Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains “will almost certainly trigger costly litigation,” reproductive rights lawyers say. In a letter to the Texas Department of State Health Services, lawyers with the Center for Reproductive Rights on Monday argued that the new rules — proposed at […]

Friday was a very good day for voting rights

In North Carolina: The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. McCrory is nothing short of a beat down. The court does not simply tear apart major provisions of the law, it catches state lawmakers at the center of a conspiracy to disenfranchise […]

Media covers latest voting rights lawsuit

Glad they finally noticed. A group of Hispanic voters has filed a lawsuit challenging how Texas selects judges to its top two courts, arguing that statewide elections for the state Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals dilutes the voting strength of minorities. The suit is the latest to allege the state’s election structure […]

If we can’t ban it, we’ll BS about it

The “it” in question is of course abortion, with the state of Texas lying to women about its effects and risks. Death and infertility were just two of the risks a doctor described to Kryston Skinner when she chose to have an abortion last year. The 23-year-old knew it wasn’t the right time for her […]

What next for voter ID?

Rick Hasen, writing in Slate: The trial court was ready to throw out the entire law, but the 5th Circuit said such a remedy went too far. The court held that when a trial court finds a law has a discriminatory effect under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, it has to keep as […]

Fifth Circuit affirms voter ID ruling

Made it by the deadline. Texas’ voter identification law violates the U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed previous rulings that the 2011 voter ID law — which stipulates the types of photo identification election officials can and cannot accept at […]

Can we try this again with nine Justices, please?

Can’t hurt to ask. The Obama administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the legality of the president’s controversial immigration enforcement plan, which stalled last month when the high court deadlocked on an appeal. The program, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, was announced […]

First potty case reaches SCOTUS

Here we go. The legal fight over transgender bathroom rights reached the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time on Wednesday as a Virginia county school board sought to block an order that lets a student who was born a girl but now identifies as male use the boys’ bathroom. Transgender rights have become an […]

We should hear something soon on voter ID

So says Rick Hasen: The federal challenge to Texas’s strict voter identification law is pending before the entire Fifth Circuit sitting en banc.  The Supreme Court set a soft July 20 deadline for a decision—after that the Court has invited plaintiffs to seek immediate relief for this election before the Supreme Court. There’s nothing technically […]

State finally releases abortion data

It’s exactly what you’d expect. The Texas Department of State Health Services has released the state’s 2014 abortion data after weeks of allegationsthat the agency had been intentionally withholding the numbers. The 2014 data is significant because it is the first year to reflect the impact of Texas’ anti-abortion law, House Bill 2, on abortion […]

Wendy Davis takes a victory lap

As well she should. Wendy Davis, the woman whose 11-hour filibuster focused national attention on Texas’ efforts to restrict abortion access in 2013, celebrated Monday when the Supreme Court ruled that the state law was unconstitutional. “I’m overjoyed,” Davis said in an interview with MSNBC. “I have to tell you, I was fighting back tears […]

SCOTUS strikes down HB2

Hallelujah. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed Texas abortion providers a major victory by overturning Texas’ 2013 abortion restrictions. On a 5-3 vote, the high court overturned restrictions passed as part of House Bill 2 in 2013 that required all Texas facilities that perform abortions to meet hospital-like standards — which include minimum sizes […]

Republicans gear up for full blown gay panic in 2017

You have been warned. Still angry about the Supreme Court’s mandate, some conservative lawmakers hope that it is someday overturned. In the meantime, they expect to propose a series of what they call religious liberty bills to blunt its impact. Those efforts worry liberal advocacy groups — Steve Rudner, with Equality Texas, called them “backlash” […]

SCOTUS punts on immigration order

Ugh. ealing a major blow to President Obama’s controversial executive immigration order, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday it had failed to produce a majority opinion on the policy — meaning that the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ November 2015 decision rejecting the policy stands. The program had been blocked in February 2015 by […]

Where’s the abortion data?

The ACLU would like to know. With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to decide the biggest abortion case in nearly a decade, the ACLU of Texas is demanding that the Department of State Health Services “stop concealing” abortion statistics for 2014 and make the information public. In a letter sent Wednesday to department Commissioner John […]

Just waiting on SCOTUS’ HB2 ruling

We’ll know by the end of the month, one way or the other. In the next few weeks the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of the most significant reproductive rights cases in more than two decades, is expected to determine the future of abortion access in Texas and possibly for other states across the country. […]

Darlie Routier, 20 years later

Here’s an update on one of the more notorious murder cases in recent history. If it hadn’t been for that crazy Silly String, Darlie Lynn Routier might be a free woman today. At least, that’s what many people believe about the notorious Rowlett woman now on death row after savagely stabbing her 5- and 6-year-old […]

SCOTUS declines to hear Ted Cruz birther lawsuit

Not that it really matters at this point. The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear a lawsuit arguing that Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is ineligible to be president because his Canadian birth means he is not a “natural born citizen.” The justices upheld a lower court ruling from March that found Walter Wagner, a […]

Justice Department asks Judge Hanen to reconsider his last order

Can’t hurt to ask, I guess. The Obama administration has asked a Brownsville-based judge to rethink an order that requires the federal government to turn over the private information of thousands of undocumented immigrants. The May 19 order from U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen asserted that the federal government’s attorneys intentionally misled the court during […]

Voter ID’s day before the full Fifth Circuit

Here we go again. A top lawyer for Texas fiercely defended the state’s strictest-in-the-nation voter identification law on Tuesday, in a high-profile case that could ultimately determine at what point states that assert that they are protecting the integrity of elections cross over into disenfranchisement. Standing before all 15 members of the U.S. 5th Circuit […]

Judge Hanen’s bizarre order

WTF? A federal judge with a history of anti-immigrant sentiment ordered the federal government to turn over the names, addresses and “all available contact information” of over 100,000 immigrants living within the United States. He does so in a strange order that quotes extensively from movie scripts and that alleges a conspiracy of attorneys “somewhere […]

Full DC Circuit Court to review Clean Power Plan

From ThinkProgress, an update on yet another federal lawsuit involving Texas. The Clean Power Plan will get its day in court, but in September, not June — and by the full en banc D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, not the court’s normal three-judge panel that was scheduled to hear it in just over two weeks. […]

SCOTUS punts on birth control lawsuit

Wow. Zubik v. Burwell was supposed to be an epic showdown over the power of religious objectors to limit the rights of others. A sequel to the Court’s 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Zubik involved regulations expanding women’s access to birth control that the conservative justices appeared to endorse in Hobby Lobby — even […]

New methane rules finalized

Gentlemen, start your lawyers. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued its final rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The rule limits methane emissions from new oil and gas infrastructure and requires operators to submit to semi-annual or quarterly monitoring, depending on the type of operation. In addition, the agency took […]

Use of abortion pill rises

Until the Lege reconvenes, anyway. There’s been a sharp increase in the number of Texas women who are using the abortion pill to end their pregnancies now that federal officials have eased restrictions on the drug, according to officials at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. Until recently, the number of women seeking medically induced abortions […]

A new way to attack gerrymandering

From Think Progress: America’s anti-gerrymandering law is an incoherent mess. Thirty years ago, in Davis v. Bandemer, the Supreme Court held that a partisan gerrymander may be struck down as unconstitutional upon proof of “both intentional discrimination against an identifiable political group and an actual discriminatory effect on that group.” Yet the Court struggled to […]