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Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

Voter ID trial starts today

As one trial ends, the next one begins. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi will begin hearing arguments Tuesday on one of the nation’s most stringent voter ID measures, which Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed into law in 2011. A ruling is unlikely before Election Day, meaning that 13.6 million registered voters […]

Second phase of redistricting trial over

Much like the first phase, with some insults for one of the state’s key players thrown in for effect. Lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department and minority groups said in closing arguments in federal court Tuesday that state lawmakers illegally targeted Latino and African-American voters when redrawing congressional districts in 2011. Meanwhile, lawyers for the […]

Shine a light on dark money

I totally favor this. Secret campaign donors in Texas may soon be forced out of the shadows. The Texas Ethics Commission, already fighting a conservative group in court over whether it can regulate dark money disclosure, appears poised to approve a proposal aimed at requiring some politically active nonprofits to start revealing their anonymous donors. […]

SCOTUS halts Virginia same-sex marriages for now

Everyone’s waiting for them to tackle the bigger question. The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped Virginia officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, putting on hold a lower court ruling that said the unions could start on Thursday. The court stayed a decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the […]

Ninety years later, we could still use an Equal Rights Amendment

I have three things to say about this. Drafted by a suffragette in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment has been stirring up controversy ever since. Many opponents considered it dead when a 10-year ratification push failed in 1982, yet its backers on Capitol Hill, in the Illinois statehouse and elsewhere are making clear this summer […]

Once again, voter fraud by impersonation just doesn’t exist

From the Washington Post: Election fraud happens. But ID laws are not aimed at the fraud you’ll actually hear about. Most current ID laws (Wisconsin is a rare exception) aren’t designed to stop fraud with absentee ballots (indeed, laws requiring ID at the polls push more people into the absentee system, where there are plenty […]

Latest HB2 trial wraps up

And so we await a ruling, followed by whatever the Fifth Circuit will pull out of its posterior. Stefanie Toti, representing the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the requirements imposed by the ambulatory surgical center rules single out abortion providers, as three-fourths of other ASCs in the state are exempt from the costly building code […]

On redistricting and race

Phase Two of the redistricting trial is underway, and if it sounds an awful lot like Phase One to you, you would be right. Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature didn’t discriminate against minorities by drawing election maps in 2011 that voting-rights activists say make it harder for Hispanics and blacks to elect their candidates, a lawyer for […]

Redistricting II: Congressional Boogaloo

Phase Two of the redistricting lawsuit trial begins today, in which the 2011 Congressional maps go under the microscope. That’s as good a time as any for the mandatory How Much All This Redistricting Litigation Is Costing Us story. Texans are on the hook for $3.9 million in costs for Attorney General Greg Abbott to […]

Lots of same sex marriage appeals about to happen

Busy times in the federal appeals courts. Federal appeals courts soon will hear arguments in gay marriage fights from nine states, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict. If the appeals judges continue the unbroken eight-month streak of rulings in favor of gay marriage, […]

Marriage equality’s legal winning streak may be on the line this week

And it’s not even the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that might bring a halt, however temporary, to the march of progress. Marriage equality has had a very good run in the federal courts ever since the Supreme Court declared the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in 2013. Every single federal court to consider […]

I’m not the only one who thought Abbott’s same sex marriage appellate brief was ridiculous

Of course, his arguments were ridiculous, so I shouldn’t be the only one who thinks so. Attorney General Greg Abbott is defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban using a widely rejected “responsible procreation” argument, bolstering gay rights advocates’ hopes and raising questions about his chances of success. “None of the arguments (against gay marriage) have […]

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds marriage equality

That’s two federal appeals courts, to go along with however many federal district courts and state courts. Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional on Monday in the first such decision by a federal appellate court in the South. “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not […]

It really is about more than just marriage

Jo Ann Santangelo writes for the Observer about what it means to be in a same-sex marriage that isn’t recognized as legal by the state of Texas. In 2012, my wife, Kate, and I traveled more than 3,400 miles from Austin and back to marry legally in New York City. Seven years earlier, in November […]

What else is at stake in the redistricting trial

It’s about more than just the maps. Efforts by the Obama administration to wring protections out of a weakened Voting Rights Act begin Monday in Texas over allegations that Republicans intentionally discriminated against minorities when drawing new election maps. A federal trial in San Antonio comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court made a […]

Next phases of redistricting lawsuit scheduled

Part One takes place next week. The trial over 2011 House district boundaries begins July 14 in U.S. District Court, where a hearing Tuesday shed light on how the case could unfold. The proceeding are expected to last at least six days — Monday through Saturday — with testimony from about 50 witnesses. The court […]

Utah will take same sex marriage fight to SCOTUS

This could be the ballgame. The Utah attorney general’s office announced Wednesday that it will appeal the 10th Circuit Court’s decision last month upholding same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wednesday was the deadline for the state to seek a full-court review by all 12 judges of the 10th Circuit Court, but, according to […]

What do the Mayors want?

Action on climate change. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, a bipartisan group that represents the leaders of 1,400 cities, each of which is home to at least 30,000 people, has called on the Obama administration and Congress to “enact an Emergency Climate Protection law that provides a framework and funding for the implementation … of […]

Tenth Circuit upholds same-sex marriage

A huge step forward. A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that states outlawing same-sex marriage are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. By upholding a Utah judge’s decision, the a three-member panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver became the first appeals court to rule on the issue, setting a historic precedent […]

Another win for the EPA at the Supreme Court

And thus another loss for Greg Abbott and Rick Perry. The Supreme Court on Monday mostly validated the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to regulate power plant and factory emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming while imposing some limits on the agency’s reach. The justices said the EPA could not rewrite specific standards written […]

The money is the problem

A story of interest from North Carolina. The ad first appeared on television the Friday before last, a black-and-white spot charging that Justice Robin Hudson coddled child molesters and “sided with the predators” in a North Carolina Supreme Court dissent. It has run constantly since. As notable as the ad’s content and frequency, though, is […]

Two wins against voter ID

Good news from Wisconsin. Trying to crack down on in-person voter fraud isn’t a strong enough justification for Wisconsin’s voter ID law, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, because voter impersonation virtually never occurs now and is unlikely to become a real problem in the future. In striking down the 2011 law signed by Gov. Scott […]

SCOTUS upholds CSAPR

Some very good news for people who like to breathe. The question was who should pay for air pollution that crosses state lines. The answer, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, is blowing in the wind. States in the Midwest and South whose polluted air flows north and east must comply with a federally imposed solution, […]

Lawsuit filed over Senate map

From Texas Redistricting: [Monday] morning, two Texas voters filed a suit in federal court challenging the state senate map drawn by the Texas Legislature on the grounds that it violated the equal protection guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment by using total population rather eligible voters to draw districts. The plaintiffs in the case are backed […]

Planned Parenthood petitions Fifth Circuit for en banc review of HB2 ruling

From the inbox: Today, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed a petition on behalf of their patients to request that the full bench of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals consider the constitutionality of harmful abortion restrictions that were struck down by  a federal district court last fall. On March 27, a three-judge panel of the court […]

And the first open enrollment period comes to an end

Lots of people signed up in the last few days of enrollment. Some tried but came away empty. Some of the hundreds of Houstonians who sought last-minute help enrolling for the Affordable Care Act on Sunday left thrilled to have health insurance for the first time in their lives, while others walked away frustrated by […]

Fifth Circuit does its thing again

There was never any doubt. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the new abortion regulations that were passed in July by the Republican-led Texas Legislature. The plaintiffs, who represent the majority of abortion providers in Texas, including four Planned Parenthood affiliates, Whole Woman’s Health and other independent abortion providers, challenged the constitutionality of […]

Another same sex divorce case

In Bexar County. And with it comes another opportunity for Greg Abbott to demonstrate his commitment to non-equality. The Bexar divorce case was filed Feb. 18, eight days before U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex unions and its refusal to recognize out-of-state marriages are unconstitutional. The judge stayed his […]

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 […]

Next steps in the Texas same sex marriage lawsuit

In case you were wondering, Attorney General and candidate for Governor Greg Abbott will appeal Wednesday’s historic ruling striking down Texas’ constitutional amendment barring same sex marriage. The state of Texas has officially given notice that it is appealing a San Antonio judge’s ruling that completely struck down its ban on same sex marriage. “Defendants […]

Texas stands with polluters against the EPA one more time

Here we go. The Obama administration’s climate change agenda on Monday faced one of its first real tests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, where Texas and a group of industry leaders challenged an Environmental Protection Agency regulation aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The question before the court is whether permits needed by […]

Federal judge strikes down Texas’ anti-same sex marriage law

Wow. A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deprives some citizens of due process and equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves […]

Add Virginia to the list

The list of states whose law banning same sex marriage has been struck down. A federal judge ruled Thursday that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, making it the first state in the South to have its voter-approved prohibition overturned. U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen issued a stay of her order while it […]

Davis officially supports same sex marriage

Right on. Sen. Wendy Davis said Thursday that she supports same-sex marriage and that Attorney General Greg Abbott, her presumed general-election opponent in the race for governor, should stop defending the state’s ban. “It’s my strong belief that when people love each other and are desirous of creating a committed relationship with each other that […]