Posts Tagged ‘ Texas ’

US appeals court revisits Texas voter turnout suppression law

May 24, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"A federal appeals court is set to take a second look at a strict Texas voter ID law that was found to be unconstitutional last year. Texas'[s] law requires residents to show one of seven forms of approved identification. The state and other supporters say it prevents fraud. Opponents, including the U.S. Justice Department, say it discriminates by requiring forms of ID that are more difficult to obtain for low-income, African-American and Latino voters. Arguments before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are set for Tuesday morning. The full court agreed to rehear the issue after a three-judge panel ruled last year that the law violates the Voting Rights Act." (05/24/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/us-appeals-court-revisits-texas-voter-id-law/2016/05/24/b16c23c6-2171-11e6-b944-52f7b1793dae_story.html  

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TX: Uber, Lyft halt Austin service after voters choose cab monopolists over decent pricing, good service

May 9, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft suspended service indefinitely Monday in Austin after voters in Texas' tech hub failed to adopt a ballot measure that would have allowed them greater self regulation. In a dispute that could play out in other cities, Uber and Lyft say new rules required on them in the Austin area, including fingerprinting of drivers, makes its hard for them to continue to follow their business models. The pullback becomes a de facto victory for the taxicab industry, which has seen ride-sharing services turn their business on its ear around the country." (05/09/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/05/08/uber-lyft-halt-austin-service-after-losing-vote/84119554/  

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TX: Austin voters reject 21st century, yell at kids to get off their lawn

May 8, 2016
posted by

CNBC    

"Despite an $8 million dollar campaign by ride-hailing companies, Austin-area voters on Saturday rejected a proposal by Uber and Lyft to self-regulate their drivers and mandated stricter rules on the companies, including fingerprint background checks and emblems on cars. Uber and Lyft had threatened to pull their operations from Austin should their proposal fail. The election was being closely watched across the USA as other cities, including Los Angeles and Miami, grapple with how best to regulate the ride-hailing companies." (05/08/16)

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/08/austin-voters-reject-uber-lyft-plan-for-self-regulation.html  

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The Texas grid and US national security

May 3, 2016
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by David Grantham  

"Texas is the only state with a self-contained electric grid. An EMP attack that renders the grid inoperable will have devastating consequences for the country's defense posture, according to NCPA Senior Fellow David Grantham. Utilities and the Texas government need to come together to protect the grid." [summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (05/03/16)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=26508  

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TX: Teacher arrested after video surfaces of assault on student

April 11, 2016
posted by

New York Daily News    

"A Texas teacher got a taste of her own medicine. After an Ozen High School math teacher repeatedly slapped a student at her Beaumont school, Jefferson County deputies slapped her with an assault charge. ... The clip shows [Mary] Hastings striking the teenager five times before he fired back asking 'Why'd you hit me?' The footage does not explain what happened leading up to the classroom assault though a witness said the boy asked about his grade, KBMT-TV reported." (04/11/16)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/texas-teacher-arrested-assault-teen-student-article-1.2595806  

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SCOTUS upholds “one person, one vote” in Texas case

April 5, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The Supreme Court refused Monday to change the way state and municipal voting districts are drawn, denying an effort by conservatives that could have increased the number of rural, mostly white districts at the expense of urban, largely Hispanic ones. The 'one person, one vote' case was among the most consequential of the high court's term, and once again the court's liberal wing won out. The ruling left intact Texas'[s] method of drawing districts with roughly equal numbers of residents. Challengers had argued only eligible voters should be counted, a method that would have allowed states to ignore non-citizens and others who do not vote, including children. In most cases, that would have helped Republicans and hurt Democrats." (04/04/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/04/04/supreme-court-voting-rights-texas-districts-population-scalia/81121876/  

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No such thing as a “free public charter school”

March 29, 2016
posted by

Garry Reed Dallas Libertarian Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"People throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex have been mailbox-bombed by up to six (!) bright, shiny, slick, professionally produced oversized 'post cards' from the (desperate?) International Leadership of Texas (ILTex). The biggest headline on these cards says 'Free Public Charter School.' These four words strung together no doubt caused instant mirth in the minds of every libertarian in the area. Take each word one at a time and see why." (03/28/16)

http://www.examiner.com/article/no-such-thing-as-a-free-public-charter-school  

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TX: State employees kill prisoner convicted of killing trespassing tax parasite

March 22, 2016
posted by

Yahoo! News Yahoo! News    

"A Texas man on death row for killing a worker [sic] who was on his property looking for city code violations was [killed be state employees] Tuesday. Adam Ward was given a lethal injection for shooting and killing Michael Walker, a code enforcement officer who was taking photos of junk piled outside the Ward family home in Commerce, about 65 miles northeast of Dallas. ... Ward became the ninth convicted killer [premeditatedly killed by state employees] this year nationally and the fifth in Texas, which [has state employees kill prisoners] more than any other state." (03/22/16)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/high-court-weighs-whether-spare-texas-man-execution-054119076.html  

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TX: Trooper indicted over Sandra Bland arrest formally fired

March 3, 2016
posted by

Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune    

A Texas trooper indicted over his arrest of a black woman who was later found dead in jail has been formally fired, three months after his bosses first announced they would do so, state officials said Wednesday. Former Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia can still appeal the decision to fire him, which came after a grand jury indicted him on a perjury charge in December. He's accused of lying about his July 2015 arrest of Sandra Bland and their confrontational traffic stop that was caught on dashcam video." (03/02/16)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-sandra-bland-officer-encinia-fired-20160302-story.html  

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SCOTUS hears challenge to Texas abortion law

March 2, 2016
posted by

Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle    

"Nearly three years after Texas lawmakers approved a far-reaching set of abortion restrictions, the U.S. Supreme Court was set to examine the controversial law Wednesday in a hearing that could affect women's health across the country for years to come. ... The law's contested regulations require abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and abortion facilities to comply with the expensive standards of hospital-style surgical centers.
The case is seen as the most significant abortion-related dispute to come before the Supreme Court since the justices ruled in 1992 that governments could not place an 'undue burden' on women seeking the procedure." (03/02/16)

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Supreme-Court-hears-challenge-to-Texas-abortion-6865252.php  

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TX: Court dismisses final charge in Perry’s abuse of power case

February 24, 2016
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"Texas'[s] highest criminal court tossed the second and final felony charge against former Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday, likely ending a case the Republican says helped sink his short-lived 2016 presidential bid. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the abuse-of-power charge, which was filed after Perry threatened -- and then carried out -- a veto of state funding for a group of public corruption prosecutors after the Democratic head of the unit refused to resign. A lower appeals court dismissed the other charge, coercion by a public servant, in July." (02/24/16)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-texas-court-clears-rick-perry-20160224-story.html  

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TX: State employees kill prisoner

February 17, 2016
posted by

Albany Democrat Herald    

"A Texas prisoner has been [killed by state employees] for the shotgun slaying of a Dallas-area liquor store clerk during a robbery more than 25 years ago. Gustavo Garcia's lethal injection Tuesday was the third this year in Texas, which [has state employees kill prisoners] more than any other state. The 43-year-old Garcia was 18 at the time of the killing." (02/16/16)

http://democratherald.com/news/national/the-latest-texas-inmate-executed-for-killing-store-clerk/article_d4baea87-2969-5e67-adaa-d30eeb1644c6.html  

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TX: FBI arrests Crystal City officials

February 8, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"Joel Barajas was the only Crystal City council member to show up to the office Friday. That's because everyone else he works with is facing felony charges. Five top officials in Crystal City, Tex., were arrested Thursday under a federal indictment accusing them of taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes and helping the operator of an illegal gambling operation who went by the nickname 'Mr. T.' The indictment swept up the city's mayor, mayor pro tempore (who both have city council votes) and a council member, as well as the city manager, a former city council member and the alleged gambling operator, Ngoc Tri Nguyen." (02/08/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/02/08/theres-only-one-person-left-on-this-texas-city-council-after-fbi-arrests-top-officials-on-corruption-charges/  

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TX: Billionaire asks Dallas pols to block convention that offends him

February 8, 2016
posted by

Dallas Morning News    

"Billionaire oilman Ray Hunt, one of downtown’s highest-profile property owners, emailed the Dallas City Council this weekend asking them to vote Wednesday against allowing a porn convention to open shop at the city-owned convention center. Hunt, who owns more than 30 acres downtown, including everything from the Hyatt Regency and Reunion Tower to the old Reunion Arena parking garage's air rights, says he believes Exxxotica 'constitutes an activity that runs totally counter to the values, mores and beliefs of the vast majority of the citizens of the City of Dallas.'" [editor's note: You'd think that kind of money would soothe the ache associated with not being allowed to run everyone else's lives, but I guess not - TLK] (02/07/16)

http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2016/02/billionaire-ray-hunt-asks-council-to-stop-sex-expo-from-coming-to-dallas-convention-center.html/  

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TX: Grand jury indicts two for embarrassing Planned Parenthood

January 26, 2016
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"A Texas grand jury investigating allegations of misconduct against Planned Parenthood after the release of covertly-shot videos about the use of fetal tissue from abortions has instead indicted two antiabortion activists who made the videos, authorities said Monday. David Daleiden, 26, director of the Irvine-based nonprofit Center for Medical Progress, was indicted by the grand jury on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs, Harris County Dist. Atty. Devon Anderson said in a statement. An employee at the center, Sandra Merritt, was also indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record." (01/25/16)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-grand-jury-planned-parenthood-20160125-story.html  

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Did a dubious confession sway a medical examiner’s autopsy in a Texas death penalty case?

January 20, 2016
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Jordan Smith  

"[S]ince [Richard] Masterson's conviction, serious questions about [medical examiner Paul] Shrode's qualifications and credibility have come to light. Shrode has drawn inaccurate conclusions about the cause of death in at least two different cases -- including a death penalty case. In 2001, just months before Masterson's trial, Shrode was officially reprimanded by his supervisor in the Houston medical examiner's office for reaching an erroneous cause of death determination. Although they should have, prosecutors did not disclose the reprimand to Masterson's trial counsel during the evidence discovery process. Later, in 2010, Shrode was fired from his job as El Paso's medical examiner after officials found that he'd reached an erroneous cause of death determination in a capital case out of Ohio -- a revelation that led to the commutation of the inmate's death sentence. In addition to these grave errors, Shrode has also had issues with his resume, once insisting during an El Paso court hearing that he had earned a 'graduate law degree' at a Texas university that did not have a law program." (01/20/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/01/19/richard-masterson-did-a-dubious-confession-sway-a-medical-examiners-autopsy-in-a-texas-death-penalty-case/  

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Interview: Libertarian Mark Miller wants to frack the TRRC

January 6, 2016
posted by

Garry Reed Dallas Libertarian Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"Dr. Mark Miller is bringing his Libertarian Party of Texas campaign for TRRC Commissioner to North Texas (Residence Inn Marriott, 13400 North Freeway, Fort Worth TX 76177) on Thursday, January 7, at 7:00 PM. The TRRC -- Texas Railroad Commission -- is a state regulatory agency that hasn't regulated railroads since 2005; it regulates the Texas oil and gas industry. Many claim it's the Texas Oil and Gas Industry that regulates the TRRC, making it what one libertarian calls 'the epitome of regulatory capture and cronyism.' Miller has the credentials for the job: A BS in Engineering, a PhD from Stanford, taught petroleum engineering at the University of Texas for 18 years, had a long career in the oil and gas industry as an engineer, served as an engineering consultant, and founded a company that provides software to the oil and gas industry. Dallas Libertarian Examiner asked the LP candidate a few questions." (01/05/16)

http://www.examiner.com/article/interview-libertarian-mark-miller-wants-to-frack-the-trrc  

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No indictments in jail death of police abductee Sandra Bland

December 22, 2015
posted by

NBC News NBC News    

"A grand jury concluded Monday that it would issue no indictments in the death of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in a Texas jail cell earlier this year and whose handling by police sparked criticism of excessive force. A grand jury was convened in the case last month, and more than eight hours of evidence was heard during proceedings on Monday, NBC Houston affiliate KPRC reported. Authorities in Texas described her July 13 death in Waller County jail as suicide, although her family has remained dubious of the official account." (12/21/15)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/grand-jury-issues-no-indictments-jail-death-sandra-bland-n484241  

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TX: “Border Patrol” gangbangers catch travel entrepreneurs flying fake gang colors

December 13, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Texas authorities are on high alert after Border Patrol agents caught an alleged smuggler trying to disguise its SUV as one of the agency's vehicles, officials said Friday. Border Patrol agents caught a smuggler driving a Chevy Tahoe that was painted to look like one of the agency’s vehicle, according to KRGV-TV. Vehicles are usually painted to act as delivery or telecommunications trucks to try and fool agents, but it’s unusual to see a Border Patrol vehicle to be copied. Border Patrol in Laredo found 12 people stuffed in the back of the imposter vehicle. Agents knew the vehicle was a fake as soon as they found it." (12/13/15)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/12/13/border-patrol-catches-smuggler-using-fake-agency-vehicle/  

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TX: Planned Parenthood sues regime over blocked corporate welfare dollars

November 23, 2015
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"Planned Parenthood sued again Monday over efforts by Republican governors to block Medicaid funding to the nation's largest abortion provider, this time against Texas .... Planned Parenthood has also sued over similar efforts in Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama. Federal courts have so far blocked those states from cutting off the funding." (11/23/15)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/planned-parenthood-sues-texas-blocked-medicaid-dollars-35374909  

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TX: State employees kill prisoner

November 19, 2015
posted by

Dallas Morning News    

"Convicted murderer Raphael Holiday was [killed by state employees] Wednesday after days of dramatic last-minute appeals pleading for new lawyers who would fight harder to stop his imminent death and a fleeting reprieve that Texas'[s] top criminal court reversed. ... The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered the [killing] of Raphael Holiday to proceed Wednesday, overturning a judge's ruling earlier in the day calling for a halt to the scheduled lethal injection." (11/18/15)

http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/11/execution-date-withdrawn-for-death-row-inmate-set-to-die-wednesday.html/  

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SCOTUS to hear Texas case on abortion clinic rules

November 15, 2015
posted by

CNN CNN    

"The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a challenge to key parts of Texas'[s] 2013 abortion law that supporters of abortion rights say is one of the strictest in the nation. The court has not heard a major abortion case since 2007, and its decision will likely come down sometime next spring or early summer in the heat of the presidential campaign. ... While supporters of the law argue it's meant to protect women's health, opponents say it has nothing to do with health and safety, but instead is a disguised attempt to put an end to abortion. Other states have similar legislation percolating through the lower courts. One provision at issue requires that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The other mandates that clinics upgrade their facilities to hospital-like standards." (11/13/15)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/13/politics/supreme-court-to-hear-major-abortion-case/  

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TX: Houston non-discrimination ordinance goes down to defeat

November 4, 2015
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"Houston voters rejected a controversial measure Tuesday that would have barred discrimination against gays and transgender people in the wake of an 18-month battle that pitted advocates of gay rights against those who believed they were defending religious liberty. The vote had been expected to be close. But with about 30% of precincts reporting, the measure was trailing badly, 62% to 38%, and the Associated Press called the election for foes of the measure. ... Opponents say the measure, which they call Proposition 1 or the 'bathroom ordinance,' infringes on their religious beliefs and poses a public health risk by allowing [sic] transgender women into women's restrooms." [editor's note: This ordinance would have banned employers, landlords and other property owners from deciding how their property is used and for that reason it SHOULD have gone down; "public," i.e. government, facilities shouldn't be allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, though - TLK] (11/03/15)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-houston-nondisrcimination-vote-20151103-story.html  

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TX: State ends Planned Parenthood’s corporate welfare checks

October 20, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Texas officials lobbed another salvo in the ongoing battle to restrict or close abortion clinics in the state, announcing Monday it was cutting off Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood clinics in the wake of the controversial video of group officials discussing fetal tissue. The move is the latest in a series of budget cuts and legislative restrictions against the women's clinics and could lead to a legal fight like the one unfolding in neighboring Louisiana. In a letter to Planned Parenthood affiliates statewide, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's Office of Inspector General told the group their enrollment in the joint state-federal Medicaid program was in the process of being terminated because they were potentially 'liable, directly or by affiliation, for a series of serious Medicaid program violations.' Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas receive a total of about $3 million to $4 million a year in Medicaid reimbursements through the state, according to commission figures." (10/19/15)

http://usat.ly/1Xhpsxy  

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TX: Austin pols propose, crowds oppose, protectionist measures for cab monopolists vs. Uber, Lyft

October 8, 2015
posted by

KXAN News    

"Fearing regulation changes to transportation networking companies (TNCs) in Austin, more than 24,000 Austinites have signed a petition through Uber, opposing new proposals. On Wednesday, the city of Austin's Mobility Committee approved new rules and regulations they want to put in place for TNCs like Uber and Lyft. In two 3-1 votes, the committee approved imposing an annual fee for ride sharing services and fingerprinting drivers." (10/08/15)

http://bit.ly/1jS12MH  

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