A trio of trial updates

Planned Parenthood versus Texas:

A ruling affecting health care, including contraception, for some 130,000 low-income Texas women probably won’t come until late this year as Planned Parenthood and the state of Texas plan for mid-October oral arguments in their legal fight.

The state is appealing a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel granted six weeks ago preventing Texas from disqualifying Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women’s Health Program. State leaders oppose Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics provide abortion services.

Yeakel told both parties Friday the case could change depending on how the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the state’s effort to lift his injunction. The appeals court will hear oral arguments on June 7.

According to Postcards, the schedule is depositions and discovery are to be done by August 17, the last briefs are due in October 5, and oral arguments will be on October 19. We’ll probably get a ruling in November.

Voter ID:

The state’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over the voter ID bill will commence in July, keeping alive the chance that the controversial measure could be in effect by the November election.


The Department of Justice confirmed that a federal district court in Washington D.C. will hear the case starting July 9, but declined to offer any additional comment.

At this rate, the voter ID lawsuit could be decided before the redistricting lawsuit. Man, that’s taking forever. In the meantime, you’ve probably heard that a divided DC Court has upheld the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County (Alabama) lawsuit. The Supreme Court may hear the inevitable appeal of the voter ID suit, which also challenges Section 5 of the VRA, before the appeal of this case. At least one of those cases will be on their docket next year.

Tom DeLay.

The much-delayed Tom DeLay case is delayed again.

The 3rd Court of Appeals cancelled [this] week’s oral arguments on DeLay’s money-laundering conviction after his lawyer, Brian Wice, asked Justice Diane Henson to recuse herself.


The latest postponement in the marathon case was prompted because three Republicans on the 3rd Court removed themselves from hearing the appeal. They did not cite a reason.

“The Republicans all apparently think this case is kryptonite,” Wice said at the time. That left Wice facing a 2-to-1 Democratic panel hearing the oral arguments.

Friday’s cancellation came after Wice had filed a motion asking the court to make a decision on Henson by Friday or he would ask a higher court to intervene.

The court did not explain the reason for the cancellation or suggest how long the appeal might be on hold. Wice speculated Friday that the court has reached an impasse over Henson’s participation.

“I think they did the sensible thing and called a timeout,” Wice said.

I’ve got the World Court in The Hague on speed dial whenever they’re ready to face up to the inevitable.

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