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Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

Interview with Jose Garza

So it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the voter ID litigation. There was the motion by the Justice Department to delay the hearing on whether the law was passed with discriminatory intent, which everyone expects is a prelude to them switching sides in the case. Then there was the decision by the Supreme […]

“Fetal remains” rule blocked

Good. U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks ruled Texas cannot require health providers to bury or cremate fetuses, delivering another blow to state leaders in the reproductive rights debate. On Friday afternoon, Sparks wrote in his ruling that Texas Department of State Health Services’ fetal remains burial rule’s vagueness, undue burden and potential for irreparable […]

So what will the Justice Department do with voter ID now?

We don’t know yet. Hours after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, the Department of Justice filed to postpone a hearing on the Texas Voter ID law. The request was granted. The DOJ had previously argued that the law intentionally discriminated against minority voters, but told the court it needed additional time for the new administration […]

SCOTUS will not review voter ID ruling

For now. The Supreme Court issued orders from its January 19 conference this morning. After granting review in two cases from that conference last week, the justices did not add any new cases to their merits docket today. But there was one notable denial on today’s order list: Abbott v. Veasey, the challenge to a […]

Voter ID hearing postponed

I fear this is a portent of things to come. Within hours of Donald Trump being sworn in as president Friday, a Corpus Christi federal court postponed a scheduled hearing in the Texas Voter ID case until next month at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. Lawyers for the Justice department asked for […]

State Supreme Court will take up same sex marriage appeal

Somehow, this wasn’t the worst thing that happened yesterday. After pressure from Texas GOP leadership, the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed course and agreed to take up a same-sex marriage case. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, the state’s highest civil court will reconsider a Houston case challenging […]

The GLSEN 2015 National School Climate Survey

A lot of the stuff we talk about when we discuss Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill is business – the opposition from businesses, the political ramifications of a GOP/business schism, the economics of the bathroom bill, etc etc etc. But schools and students are a big piece of the picture here, as the lawsuit against the […]

Chris Suprun’s eventful year in voting

How weird is this? The self-described “voting addict” was an apparent casualty of the confusion amid legal wrangling over the state’s 2011 voter ID law. Now, [Texas Republican elector Chris] Suprun is calling for courts to clarify the rules once and for all. “Pick a course and run with it,” he urged U.S. District Court […]

So what happens to all those Texas lawsuits against the feds?

It depends, but basically it’s up to the new Solicitor General, since he is the one defending the federal government’s actions. Since Paxton assumed office as AG in January 2015, Texas has sued the federal government more than a dozen times, raising questions about White House policy on such a wide range of topics as […]

“Fetal remains” lawsuit filed

As expected. Today the Center for Reproductive Rights filed new litigation against the state of Texas over unconstitutional new regulations that mandate the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue that results from abortions, miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancy surgery – regardless of the woman’s personal wishes or beliefs. The politically-motivated rules are designed to […]

You can’t stop the faithless electors

So says Carolyn Shapiro, associate professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she is co-director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States. Earlier this week, in a New York Times op-ed, Texas presidential elector Chris Suprun announced that he would not be casting his vote for Donald Trump. Even though […]

“Fetal remains” lawsuit in the works

Get ready. Health providers and abortion clinics have less than two weeks to figure out how to comply with Texas’ new fetal remains rules — that is, if a lawsuit doesn’t halt the process first. Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder of abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health, said she is working with the Center for Reproductive Rights […]

The costs of the “fetal remains” rule

This is going to cost a lot of people a lot of money. State health officials have contended that the “minimum costs in complying with the rules” would total $450 a year per health care facility, arguing that those costs would be offset by the elimination of the cost of landfill disposition. But Michael Land, […]

Two more lawsuit updates

The ban on the transgender bathroom rule remains in place pending appeals. Continued lack of access in public schools to bathrooms matching transgender persons’ gender identity won’t cause them irreparable harm, a Texas federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Reed O’Connor of Wichita Falls, Texas, made that finding Sunday in ruling against two federal executive […]

Federal court rules there is such a thing as a too-partisan gerrymander

Worth keeping an eye on. In a potentially transformative decision that could hobble partisan gerrymandering and restore a degree of fairness to many legislative races, a divided federal court held on Monday that Wisconsin’s state assembly maps are unconstitutional. The court reached this decision despite a web of Supreme Court decisions that have discouraged, if […]

So now what for voter ID?

It’s hard to say how much prospects have changed now that Donald Trump gets to appoint the ninth Supreme Court justice, but it’s fair to say that thing haven’t improved for the plaintiffs. Five years ago, Texas passed one of the strictest Voter ID laws in the country. The legal fight began immediately and has […]

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 […]

Republicans take their desperate shot at limiting same sex marriage

Pathetic. After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed an amicus […]

Republicans join Woodfill’s ridiculous anti-spousal benefits crusade

Shoveling sand against the tide. Fifty Republican members of the Texas Legislature have signed a court brief arguing that the same-sex spouses of government employees shouldn’t be entitled to health insurance and other benefits. The “friend-of-the-court” brief was submitted Friday in a lawsuit brought by anti-LGBT activists against the city of Houston in response to […]

The cost of defending HB2

It was quite expensive. Texas could be on the hook for more than $4.5 million as part of its failed legal battle to defend its 2013 abortion restrictions, which the U.S. Supreme struck down as unconstitutional in June. The Center for Reproductive Rights late Friday filed its request for that amount in attorney’s fees and […]

Jared Woodfill never stops never stopping

Here we go again. Fifteen months after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, anti-LGBT groups in Texas are still fighting the decision. Jonathan Saenz, president of the right-wing lobby group Texas Values, and Houston anti-LGBT activist Jared Woodfill announced Tuesday that they’re again asking the Texas Supreme Court to […]

SCOTUS rejects reconsideration of immigration ruling

Alas. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined the Obama administration’s request to reconsider a controversial immigration program that would have let millions of undocumented immigrants stay in the country legally. The program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, would have shielded about 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. It was scheduled […]

Clean Power Plan’s day in the DC court

We’ll see how it goes. Dozens of lawyers from the government, industry and public interest groups packed the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, to hear the divisive case that comes just weeks before a heated presidential election and illustrates how a President’s picks for the lower court might impact his own agenda. […]

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 […]