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Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

Paxton officially appeals redistricting ruling to SCOTUS

Here we go. Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up an appeal of a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas’ congressional districts. “It’s fitting that the Supreme Court hear this case, given that it ordered the district court in San Antonio to draw the congressional maps […]

Kirkland for Supreme Court

Good. Houston State District Court Judge Steven Kirkland has announced his candidacy for a seat on the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay candidate to run for the state’s highest civil court. Kirkland, a Democrat, is seeking Place 2 on the court, which is currently held by Justice Don Willett. Willett […]

SCOTUS takes up partisan gerrymandering

So much coverage on this potentially ground-breaking and earth-shaking case. Here’s the Washington Post: Opponents of political gerrymandering had reason for optimism at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the likely swing vote, appearing more in sync with liberal colleagues who seemed convinced that a legislative map can be so infected […]

Don’t expect any further redistricting activity this year

Michael Li explains it all to you. In one-line orders today (here and here), the Supreme Court rejected a request by plaintiffs in the Texas redistricting case that the Supreme Court expedite appeals by the State of Texas. The plaintiffs’ requests would have sped up the cases by having the parties forgo the filing of […]

City goes to SCOTUS over same-sex spousal benefits

Good. The City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner filed a petition Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision that came down earlier this summer, concluding that states did not have to provide publicly funded benefits to same-sex couples, according to a news release from the city. The decision in Pidgeon v. […]

SCOTUS puts new maps on hold

Ugh. The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a serious setback to those hoping Texas would see new congressional and House district maps ahead of the 2018 elections. In separate orders issued Tuesday, the high court blocked two lower court rulings that invalidated parts of those maps where lawmakers were found to have discriminated against voters […]

Plaintiffs ask SCOTUS to back down in redistricting fight

This week’s update: The challengers told the justices that the Supreme Court lacks the power to review the state’s request because there is nothing to put on hold: The lower court has neither blocked the state’s current redistricting plan nor entered any orders to remedy the violations it found. Instead, the challengers emphasized, the lower […]

State House map paused as well

Not a surprise, given the previous order. A lower court ruling that invalidated parts of the Texas House state map has been temporarily blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court. Responding swiftly to an appeal by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Justice Samuel Alito on Thursday signed an order to put on hold a three-judge panel’s unanimous ruling that […]

SCOTUS puts a pause on the Congressional redistricting ruling

Hopefully, just a temporary one. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put on hold a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas’ 36 congressional districts. In an order signed by Justice Samuel Alito, the high court indicated it wanted to hear from the minority groups suing the state before the state’s appeal of that […]

Will we have maps in time for March primaries?

Maybe. It’s up to the courts. State officials insisted Friday they expect to stop the court challenges on appeal, and reverse Texas’ losing streak on the voting-rights lawsuits, legal experts predicted Texas could end up back under federal supervisions of its elections rules if the appeals fail. In short, the court fight is shaping up […]

Texas appeals voter ID ruling

On to the next phase. As promised, Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed what he called an “outrageous” federal court decision tossing out the state’s new voter ID law. In a 25-page filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Friday, the Republican attorney general argued the state complied with the court’s call […]

Court throws out State House map

Once more, with feeling. Parts of the Texas House map must be redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections because lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities in crafting several legislative districts, federal judges ruled on Thursday. A three-judge panel in San Antonio unanimously ruled that Texas must address violations that could affect the configuration of House districts […]

Voter ID law thrown out

Fantastic. A federal judge has tossed out a new law softening Texas’ strict voter identification requirements. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos on Wednesday ruled that Senate Bill 5, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, doesn’t absolve Texas lawmakers from responsibility for discriminating against Latino and black voters when they crafted one of the […]

We could get a special session on redistricting

At least, that’s what State Sen. Dawn Buckingham thinks. State Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, expects the Legislature to be called back for another special session — this time to tackle the state’s congressional map. Monday evening at the Central Texas Tea Party’s monthly meeting, Buckingham discussed federal judges invalidating two Texas congressional districts and the […]

Texas to appeal redistricting ruling

Here we go. If Gov. Greg Abbott calls a second special legislative session this summer, it won’t be for redistricting. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton revealed Friday that Abbott won’t ask lawmakers to redraw the state’s congressional map — found by a federal court this week to discriminate against Latino and black voters — in […]

Houston city employees file their own lawsuit (again) on spousal benefits

A shame it’s had to come to this, but this is where we are. On Thursday, three married couples from Houston filed a lawsuit in federal court aimed at forcing the city to preserve health coverage and other benefits for same-sex spouses of city employees. That’s because, despite the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell […]

Paxton joins defense of Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering

Of course he does. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is backing Wisconsin in a high-profile case asking the U.S. Supreme Court whether lawmakers can go too far when drawing political maps to advantage one party. Paxton, a Republican, filed an amicus brief seeking to protect the status quo in political gerrymandering — redistricting maneuvers that […]

How the redistricting case could play out

Michael Li games out how the Texas redistricting litigation may go from the anticipated court ruling to final resolution. So, in short, Texans could end up with a new set of maps (drawn by the Texas Legislature or drawn by the court or drawn by the legislature and then tweaked/modified by the court). Or the […]

Redistricting trial wraps up

Now we wait. The state of Texas faced a healthy dose of judicial skepticism on Saturday as its lawyers laid out final arguments in a trial over whether lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in enacting current Texas House and Congressional district maps. A three-judge panel peppered lawyers from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office […]

Redistricting trial week begins

This will be the main event of the week. Eight months ahead of the 2018 primaries, Texas and its legal foes on Monday will kick off a week-long trial that could shake up races across the state. The state and minority rights groups have been squabbling for six years over new political district boundaries drawn […]

Supreme Court sends same-sex marriage benefits question back to lower court

Unbelievable. The Texas Supreme Court on Friday threw out a lower court ruling that said spouses of gay and lesbian public employees are entitled to government-subsidized same-sex marriage benefits. The state’s highest civil court ordered a trial court to reconsider the case. As part of a case challenging Houston’s benefits policy, the Supreme Court suggested […]

Another look at redistricting in Texas

We’re in the spotlight right now. The odd shapes tell the story. A huge Republican majority in the Houston-area 2nd congressional district represented by Ted Poe curls around the region from Lake Houston, northeast of the city, makes a meandering, snakelike loop out to the western suburbs, and ends south of downtown near Loop 610. […]

SB4’s day in court

Sparks were flying. Opponents of Texas’ state-based immigration law told a federal judge Monday that allowing the controversial measure to stand would pave the way for a nationwide police state where local officers could subvert the established immigration-enforcement powers of the federal government. But the state’s attorneys argued in tandem with their colleagues from the […]

No partisan gerrymandering claims (yet) in Texas

From Texas Redistricting: The three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case has issued an order striking the expert report offered by the Texas Democratic Party in connection with its partisan gerrymandering claim. However, the court said that it would allow the TDP to make an offer of proof under Federal Rule of Evidence 103 so […]

SCOTUS takes on Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering case

Monday’s big news. Partisan gerrymandering exists because the Supreme Court allows it to exist. Although such gerrymanders are a form a viewpoint discrimination, which violates the First Amendment, Republican appointees to the Supreme Court have been reluctant to even let federal courts consider partisan gerrymandering cases — much less strike down actual gerrymanders. That could all change, […]

SCOTUS will not hear Harris County bail appeal

Let this please be the end of the line. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has denied Harris County’s request to stop the release of misdemeanor inmates who can’t afford to post cash bail. The county had appealed late Tuesday to halt Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal’s directive that it begin releasing some […]

Fifth Circuit reinstates bail order

Good. Harris County took the fight over its controversial bail system to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, even as county officials scrambled to plan the imminent release of dozens of misdemeanor defendants held behind bars who cannot afford to post cash bail. A federal appeals court ruling earlier Tuesday had greenlighted the release of […]

No special session for redistricting

Buried in my Wednesday post about the SCOTUS ruling that declared North Carolina’s Congressional map to be an illegal gerrymander was a note that the court in the Texas redistricting case asked the state to consider a special session to redraw Texas’ map, taking that ruling into account. The DMN had a story about that: […]

The SCOTUS ruling on North Carolina’s gerrymandering could affect Texas

This is potentially a very big deal. In striking down North Carolina’s congressional district map, the Supreme Court sent Texas a firm warning Monday about how the state’s case may fare if it reaches that stage. The 5-3 North Carolina ruling affirmed a previous district court decision, which found that Republican state legislators there had […]

Court denies motion for appeals in redistricting case and sets trial date

We are moving along in this process after such a long long looooooooooooooooong wait to get here. A three-judge panel on Monday denied Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to appeal a March ruling that said the Legislature intentionally discriminated against minority voters when it approved new congressional districts in 2011. Texas needed the federal […]

Winning the battles but losing the war

That’s the story of reproductive rights, and access to reproductive health care in general, in Texas. “We have made tremendous gains,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life. He hopes that someday, perhaps under Trump, the Supreme Court will overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling upholding abortion rights. In the meantime, […]

Get ready for the “sanctuary cities” lawsuits

It’s just a matter of time. Now that Senate Bill 4 is on its way to becoming law, opponents are looking to the courts for relief – and a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case is giving them hope. The high court struck down parts of a controversial 2010 immigration law in Arizona on the grounds […]

Legislative maps found to have discriminatory intent

Wow. Texas lawmakers intentionally diluted the political clout of minority voters in drawing the state’s House districts, a panel of federal judges ruled Thursday. In a long-awaited ruling, the San Antonio-based judges found that lawmakers in 2011 either violated the U.S. Constitution or the Voting Rights Act by intentionally diluting the strength of minority voters […]

Attorney’s fees awarded to same sex marriage plaintiffs

Justice. Texas is on the hook for more than $600,000 in fees associated with its unsuccessful fight to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Affirming a lower court ruling on the fees, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week shot down Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s challenge to the award amount granted […]