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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Paxton encourages schools to discriminate against transgender students

From the ACLU of Texas: [Friday], the ACLU of Texas issued a letter to Texas school districts outlining their ongoing legal responsibility to provide transgender students access to educational opportunities and school facilities on the same basis as all other students. Yesterday, the State of Texas issued its own “guidance” letter to Texas schools regarding […]

Black women face much higher risk of pregnancy-related death in Texas

Any time you’re being compared to a third world country, it’s not a good thing. Black women bear the greatest risk for pregnancy-related death in Texas by far, according to a much-awaited new report, commissioned because the state rate resembles that of many Third World countries. The report, which follows the publication of a national […]

How is the state going to do its voter ID education outreach?

You don’t need to know. Texas will spend $2.5 million to spread the word about changes to the state’s voter ID law before the November election, but will not release details of how that money will be spent. More than half of that taxpayer money will be spent on advertising, but officials will not say […]

Paxton says he will meet with transgender child’s family

It’s a start, I guess. Attorney General Ken Paxton has pledged to meet with the Denton family of a transgender boy, even as his office continues its legal fight against federal school bathroom guidelines that the family supports. Paxton was asked Monday by KXAS-TV (NBC5) if he would take up the Briggle family — including […]

We won’t have Robert Morrow to kick around any longer

Valar morghulis, y’all. The brief, zany tenure of Travis County GOP Chairman Robert Morrow came to an end Friday, as party officials made clear the conspiracy theorist abandoned his post by running for president and he accepted their conclusion without question. Inside a nondescript office park in Austin, party officials convened reporters to lay out […]

Pasadena voting rights case moves forward

Good news. A federal judge has denied Pasadena’s request to throw out a lawsuit challenging its controversial city council redistricting plan, which a group of Hispanic and Latino residents alleges dilutes the voting rights of the suburb’s growing minority population. Judge Lee Rosenthal’s ruling Wednesday after a roughly two-hour court hearing means the case continues […]

Getting the (wind and solar) power to the people

It’s all about the transmission lines. The Lone Star state is by far the largest state for wind power, with nearly 18,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity already built and another 5,500 megawatts—nearly equal to California’s total installed capacity—planned. The biggest driver of that wind boom was an $8 billion transmission system that was built […]

Voter fraud: Still a myth

Just a reminder, in case you needed one. Politicians and voting rights advocates continue to clash over whether photo ID and other voting requirements are needed to prevent voter fraud, but a News21 analysis and recent court rulings show little evidence that such fraud is widespread. A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged […]

Schedule set for voter ID discrimination arguments

The next phase of the voter ID litigation will begin shortly after Election Day. A federal judge has scheduled oral arguments for Jan. 24 to determine if the Texas Legislature approved a voter ID law in 2011 with the intent to discriminate against minorities. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that […]

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 […]

Another Voting Rights Act violation alleged

From Friday: Today, a coalition of 10 groups sent a letter to Carlos Casco, Secretary of State of Texas, requesting that his office take immediate steps to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1985 (VRA) and the Texas Elections Code. Evidence currently shows that the State is failing to provide critical materials for […]

Paxton continues his war on transgender people

This is just ugly. Ramping up its fight over the rights of transgender people, Texas filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government over a regulation prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals in some health programs. Texas, on behalf of Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network, and four other states are claiming the new federal regulation […]

STAAR test lawsuit survives motion to dismiss

On to trial. After a group of parents sued the Texas Education Agency over the 2016 administration of STAAR exams, state lawyers argued this summer that the parents had no standing and asked the courts to drop the case. This week, the first day of school for many Texas children, Travis County District Court Judge […]

What can we do to increase the odds of a downballot Democratic victory?

Yesterday, I raised the possibility of downballot Democrats winning statewide races if 1) polling in the Trump/Clinton matchup remained at or below the six point spread in the recent PPP poll and 2) Democrats did a better job voting all the way down the ballot than Republicans, as has been the case in recent Presidential […]

Preliminary injunction granted in transgender bathroom directive case

Ugh. A federal judge in Fort Worth has blocked Obama administration guidelines directing the nation’s public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and other facilities that align with their gender identity. In a 38-page order released Sunday, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor said the “status quo” should remain in place nationwide until […]

Getting ready for the new voter ID universe

It’s a scramble. With roughly two months before early voting starts, Texas election officials are facing the difficult task of training thousands of poll workers and educating the public about court-ordered changes to a voter ID law – all while under an intense microscope. That process is expected to be exacerbated by the sheer size […]

No injunction for campus carry

So much for that. A federal judge has denied three University of Texas at Austin professors’ initial attempt to keep guns out of their classrooms under the state’s campus carry law. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the professors, who had sought a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the law, had failed to […]

It’s not crazy to think that a downballot Democrat could win statewide this year

I’ll get to that headline in a minute. I’ve got some reading to sort through first. We’ll start with the most pessimistic, or perhaps the least blue-sky, story of how things are likely to go. Arizona. Georgia. Utah. Indiana. Is Texas next? Across the country in recent days, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has suffered […]

More focus on bail practices

Something needs to be done, whether via the ongoing lawsuit or other means. Sandra Thompson, a University of Houston law professor, has spent hundreds of dollars bailing her cousin out of jail for minor offenses. “I get steamed under the collar when I think about this issue,” Thompson said. “I’m really mad and I’m ready […]

SH 130 operator to give up its ownership stake

Another step on the road to bankruptcy. SH 130 Concession Co. filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan Friday that proposes transferring company ownership to its largest lenders, which include the Federal Highway Administration and a group of European banks. The company owes more than $1.6 billion. It is owned by Spanish road developer Cintra, the majority […]

Voter registration numbers keep increasing

Always good news, though it’s hard to say anything definitive. County elections officials across Texas are reporting a spike in registered voters this election cycle, with one county now exceeding one million registered voters for the first time ever. Earlier this week, Bexar County Elections said they surpassed 1 million registered voters, according to News […]

Bail practices lawsuit update

There was a hearing in court this week, and the judge was skeptical. U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal declined Thursday to rule on whether Harris County should be dismissed from a lawsuit intended to force officials to reform a tough bail system in which more than 70 percent of jail inmates are being held pretrial. […]

State sues Alabama-Coushatta tribe over casino

Here we go again. A new legal salvo was fired this week in the state’s long-running battle against Indian gambling with a filing in federal court that seeks to close the gaming hall on the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation. A motion for contempt and injunctive relief was filed Monday by Attorney General Ken Paxton, claiming that the […]

Why are so many pregnant women dying in Texas?

Better yet, what are we going to do about it? The rate of Texas women dying of pregnancy-related causes nearly doubled from 2010 to 2014, with the state seeing more than 600 such deaths in the four-year span. In a new study, set to be published in the September issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers […]

More on the latest voting rights lawsuit ruling

Coverage from the Chron: In contrast to the discourse over the voter ID law, it’s not clear there are many political stakes over the law [Judge Robert] Pitman tossed out Friday. There are enough Hispanic and Latino voters in every county in Texas to mandate Spanish-language assistance at polls across the state, so Friday’s ruling […]

Taking on Ted

Rep. Mike McCaul isn’t saying that he will, but he isn’t saying that he won’t, either. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is not ruling out challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2018, but he’s emphasizing that he is not focused on it for now. “Like Reagan said, never say never, but it’s not something […]

Laredo plastic bag ban overturned

Ugh. The Fourth Court of Appeals on Wednesday sided with merchants and free-market groups who argued that Laredo’s ban on single-use bags is illegal because it is pre-empted by state law regulating solid waste disposal. The 2-1 ruling overturned a lower court’s decision, the latest setback for environmentalists and advocates of local control in Texas. […]

Senate whinefest about ballot propositions

Spare me. Members of a state Senate committee called Monday for changes in Texas law to prevent cities from thwarting or blocking citizen petition drives, a key issue for conservative and tea party groups in Houston and other cities in recent years. At a meeting of the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee, members made it clear […]

Evan McMullin to sue for ballot access in Texas

You know, that guy who recently turned up as the latest NeverTrump dreamboat? He wants on the ballot in Texas. Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, an ex-CIA officer and congressional policy wonk who launched his campaign last week to offer “Never Trump” Republicans a conservative option, faces a steep political challenge gaining enough support to […]

Too many kids are not getting vaccinated

We let this happen, thanks to the fervor of a vocal minority. The number of Texans who exempt their children from vaccination for non-medical reasons rose nearly 9 percent last school year, continuing a now 12-year-long trend that public health officials worry could eventually leave communities vulnerable to outbreaks of preventable diseases. The new numbers […]

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.” […]

PPP: Trump 44, Clinton 38

We knew this poll was coming, and it confirms what we have been seeing elsewhere. PPP’s new Texas poll finds a relatively tight race, at least on the curve of recent Presidential election results in the state. Donald Trump leads with 44% to 38% for Hillary Clinton, 6% for Gary Johnson, 2% for Jill Stein, […]

Texas loses another voting rights lawsuit

Good. A federal judge Friday blocked Texas from enforcing a state law that limits the availability of interpreters in polling places, ruling that it violates protections guaranteed by the U.S. Voting Rights Act. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin came in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Mallika Das, who was […]

Servergy sued by more people

Servergy is the company Ken Paxton was paid to shill for without being up front about the fact that he was being paid to shill for them. That’s the context of this. The company tied to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s indictments lied to dozens of investors from Alabama about a “miracle” product it couldn’t sell, […]