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Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

Divorce granted to same sex couple in Tarrant County

At some point, stories like this will cease to be news. It took two Tarrant County women nearly two years to legally end their failed marriage because of the tangle of state and federal law. But on Thursday, Brooke Powell and Cori Jo Long were finally divorced after a five-minute hearing before state District Judge […]

The cost of defying the law on same sex marriage

Nearly $44K in attorneys’ fees, and it could have been worse. It has been a month since Joe Stapleton and Jim Cato finally got the marriage license Hood County Clerk Katie Lang denied them because of her religious beliefs. It only took a federal lawsuit to get it. Today that suit was settled, and according […]

State issues new guidelines for birth and death certificates

That was quick. The state has issued new guidelines for filing and changing vital records to recognize same-sex marriage status, as ordered by a federal judge in San Antonio In a court advisory filed late Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of State Health Services said they believe the new guidelines […]

Paxton files amicus brief in HBU contraception lawsuit

Of course he does. Female employees of religious nonprofits should not be given insurance coverage for birth control if their employers object to certain contraceptives on religious grounds, according to a brief filed at the U.S. Supreme Court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton’s “friend of the court” brief was filed Monday in support […]

State Health Services department finally amends that death certificate

Good. Complying with a federal court order, Texas has issued an amended death certificate acknowledging a Conroe man as the husband of a same-sex spouse who had died in January. The men had been married in New Mexico in 2014, when Texas still banned gay marriage. Shortly after the change was made Thursday night, state […]

Fifth Circuit affirms that Texas voter ID law violates Voting Rights Act

Good. Texas’ four-year-old voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act but is not a “poll tax” barred under the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court has ruled. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that the Texas voter ID law – signed into law in 2011 – has a “discriminatory effect” […]

There’s more to complying with SCOTUS than issuing marriage licenses

Looks like Ken Paxton may get to learn that the hard way. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas must recognize the same-sex marriage of a Conroe resident by naming him as the surviving spouse on his late husband’s death certificate. And U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and […]

No, we shouldn’t have any kind of elections for SCOTUS justices

Your junior Senator, ladies and gentlemen. Dismayed by a pair of Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and gay marriage, Republican Ted Cruz presided over a packed Senate hearing Wednesday calling for judicial elections and term limits to rein in what he called “judicial tyranny” and “the abuse of judicial power.” While term limits or recall […]

Bridal Extravaganza happily adjusts to a same-sex marriage world

Love is love, and business is business. Vendors in the industry, from florists to caterers, are seeing a bumper crop of same-sex Texas weddings. “I think there’s going to be some pent-up demand, and that’s exciting,” said Laurette Veres, Bridal Extravaganza producer. In Texas, same-sex weddings could generate at least $182 million in total spending […]

I’m not the only one who thought the state’s response to the birth certificate lawsuit was specious

Actual legal experts didn’t think much of it, either. The state of Texas can’t hide behind sovereign immunity to escape a lawsuit for denying birth certificates to U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants, the director of the University of Texas’ Transnational Worker Rights Clinic said Tuesday. That state’s claim of immunity is mere “boilerplate,” said […]

Split decision on cross-state air pollution rule

Not too bad, actually. Texas’ Republican leaders and environmentalists are both claiming victory Tuesday following an appeals court ruling that requires the federal government to ease limits on certain emissions for Texas and a dozen other states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to revisit […]

Woodfill is still pursuing his anti-same-sex benefits lawsuit

From the inbox and the febrile mind of Jared Woodfill: Last year Houston Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction and ordered Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston to immediately stop recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ and stop providing benefits to the same-sex couples married in other states. Judge Millard stated, “This court does […]

Paxton concedes FMLA lawsuit

Excellent. Almost a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quietly conceded a case against the federal government over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples. Paxton and the attorneys general of Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Nebraska filed a voluntary dismissal on Friday with […]

Revisiting birth certificates

This is one of those next steps that needs to be taken. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, some gay and lesbian couples in Texas have raised questions about another legal document – birth certificates. They want Texas birth certificates to list two parents’ names, even if a child has two moms or […]

Rusk County Clerk sets an example

I respect this. The Rusk County Commissioners Court on Monday formally accepted the resignation of County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle, apparently the first Texas elected official to quit office rather than abide by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. “Before taking office, I was required to take an oath to uphold the laws of […]

HBU appeals contraceptive case to SCOTUS

Here we go. Houston Baptist University on Wednesday turned to the U.S. Supreme Court in its battle to avoid providing employees with forms of contraception it finds morally objectionable. The appeal of a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was filed on behalf of the Houston university, East Texas Baptist University and the Westminster […]

Texas sues the EPA again (and again, and again, and…)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over the agency’s rejection of parts of a Texas clean air program, launching the state’s second battle against EPA regulations in less than two weeks. Texas has sued the agency 21 times since President Obama took office in […]

Prepare for your time in the spotlight, Irion County

It’s coming. No same-sex couples have sought a marriage license in Irion County, but if or when they do the county clerk is willing to fight it in court. County Clerk Molly Criner has vowed to stand for “natural marriage” and refuses to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit that says […]

Here come the lawyers

I don’t see how the squadron of anti-equality attorneys has a case in the wake of Obergfell, but they’re gonna try their best to muck things up anyway. Now, conservative attorneys are gearing up to defend [government employees who refuse to recognize gay marriage because of religious objections], saying they are confident existing laws will […]

Clinics consider reopening

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the decisionmaking process, that’s for sure. Abortion providers cheered a move by the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily block part of a Texas law that would have closed more than half the state’s 19 remaining abortion clinics. Now they are studying whether it could also allow them to reopen […]

Texas throws in the towel with the Fifth Circuit

Hallelujah. The 5th Circuit should affirm a lower court ruling that overturned Texas’ long-standing ban on same-sex marriage, Scott Keller, the state’s solicitor general, wrote in a letter to the appellate court. That letter was in response to the appellate court’s request that the state and the plaintiffs advise the court on the next steps […]

SCOTUS gives polluters a win

Alas. t emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants, but it may only be a temporary setback for regulators. The justices split 5-4 along ideological lines to rule that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to take cost into account when it first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants. The […]

HBU contraceptive coverage decision overturned

Good. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has turned back a challenge brought by several Texas religious organizations that oppose offering insurance contraceptive coverage to their employees, concluding that the plaintiffs have no right to challenge the conduct of third parties. The recent decision also found that U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial 2014 […]

More counties issuing same sex marriage licenses

Montgomery County: Montgomery County Clerk Mark Turnbull said he turned one same-sex couple away on Friday who requested a marriage license, but wound up issuing the license after regular hours on Saturday. He initially refused because he was waiting for clarification from the state on what form to use, but after the courthouse closed Friday […]

SCOTUS puts HB2 back on hold

Good. For now, anyway. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with Texas abortion providers and temporarily put on hold a ruling that would have closed about half of the state’s abortion facilities. There were 19 abortion providers performing the procedure in Texas as of earlier this month. Abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature […]

Where same sex marriage is still functionally illegal in Texas

Smith County: After a historic Supreme Court ruling, making same sex marriage legal in all fifty states, couples across the country flocked to courthouses to be legally married. Despite the ruling, an East Texas County Court will not be issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips said they first […]

Cruz keeps on trolling along

For a guy who’s supposed to be so freaking brilliant, Ted Cruz sure says a lot of stupid things. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday said county clerks in Texas should “absolutely” be able to opt out of issuing same-sex marriage licenses if they have religious objections. “Ours is a country that was built by […]

And we begin the next fight

It’s always going to be something. In a somber and defiant statement, Attorney General Ken Paxton proclaimed his next battlefront would be in defense of religious liberty. “The truth is that the debate over the issue of marriage has increasingly devolved into personal and economic aggression against people of faith who have sought to live […]

SCOTUS rules for marriage equality

Boom. Handing gay rights advocates a monumental victory, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that marriages between couples of the same sex are constitutional, a decision that overrides Texas’ long-standing ban on gay marriage. In a 5-4 ruling, the high court found that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and that states […]

That other big SCOTUS case from yesterday

Another nice surprise from the mercurial Supreme Court. A sharply divided Supreme Court on Thursday preserved a key tool used for more than four decades to fight housing discrimination, handing a surprising victory to the Obama administration and civil rights activists. The justices ruled 5-4 that federal housing law allows people to challenge lending rules, […]

Remember, don’t rush to get married in Harris County just yet

The Harris County Clerk isn’t ready for you and won’t be for at least a little while. Should the U.S. Supreme court decide to strike down same-sex marriage bans nationwide, a decision that could come as soon as Thursday, county clerks in all but one of Texas’ biggest counties are ready to begin issuing marriage […]

Abbott would like to restore the uninsured rate

It’s what he does. Greg Abbott on Monday urged his fellow Republicans not to “rescue” President Barack Obama’s signature health care law if it is torpedoed by the U.S. Supreme Court, an unusually public stance that could make the first-term Texas governor a leading voice on a national issue dividing the GOP. Abbott’s position, announced […]

No response necessary

Unless it’s “We will respect and fully comply with the court’s ruling”. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide as early as this week whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. For supporters of same-sex marriage, it’s an emotional waiting game. “People are literally on pins and needles,” said Chuck Smith, executive director of […]

The next steps for equality advocates

Marriage equality will be a huge step, but there are many more steps to be taken. The newly launched Texas Wins campaign—a multiyear, multimillion-dollar effort—aims to increase the number of LGBT Texans protected by local nondiscrimination ordinances. “We want to take the momentum for LGBT equality coming out of the session, build on it, and […]