Tag Archives: Texas Civil Rights Project

Mayor Whitmire wants to get rid of ShotSpotter

Fine by me. Mayor John Whitmire revealed plans to scrap the city’s $3.5 million ShotSpotter program, positioning Houston as the latest city government to abandon the controversial gunshot detection technology after a brief experiment. “I think it is a gimmick,” … Continue reading

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Paxton asks SCOTx to dismiss the disciplinary lawsuit against him

I’m just surprised it took him this long. State Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the Texas Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court ruling that kept active a disciplinary proceeding and potential future punishment for his effort to overturn … Continue reading

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Full Fifth Circuit hears Galveston redistricting case

Always hard to feel any optimism when these guys are involved. Conservatives on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals occasionally sounded like Fox News talking heads Tuesday as they weighed whether coalitions composed of multiple minority groups are protected under … Continue reading

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Paxton’s disciplinary lawsuit can continue

So says the same court that upheld the Sidney Powell dismissal. A Dallas appeals court ruled Friday that Attorney General Ken Paxton can face disciplinary action for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. A three-judge panel on the 5th … Continue reading

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Sidney Powell’s disciplinary lawsuit stays dismissed

A bummer, and a black eye for the State Bar. A Dallas appeals court on Thursday upheld a decision not to discipline Sidney Powell, former lawyer for Donald Trump, for her role in seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election, … Continue reading

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The Fifth Circuit has its merits hearing on SB4

This is the big one. A federal appeals court heard arguments Wednesday from Texas and the federal government about whether it should continue blocking a new Texas law that would let state police arrest migrants suspected of entering the U.S. … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit leaves SB4 block in place

Good. A federal appeals panel late Tuesday night declined to put Texas’s migrant deportation law back in effect, saying the state law seizes powers that are “likely reserved to the United States.” The 2-1 opinion from the 5th Circuit Court … Continue reading

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Mexico asks Fifth Circuit to keep blocking SB4

They definitely have an interest in this. The Mexican government is urging a federal court to block Texas’ migrant deportation law, arguing it will trample the country’s right to regulate its own borders, terrorize the 2.4 million Mexican nationals living … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit has its SB4 hearing

More whiplashing. The chief judge on an appeals panel weighing whether to block Texas’ new migrant deportation law appeared skeptical that it does not run afoul of longstanding precedent leaving immigration enforcement solely to the federal government. Questioning the state’s … Continue reading

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And just like that, SCOTUS flipflops on SB4

UPDATE: It’s blocked again! A federal appeals court late Tuesday night stopped a state law allowing Texas police to arrest people suspected of illegally crossing the Texas-Mexico border — hours after the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed it to go … Continue reading

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SCOTUS pauses SB4 again

This time indefinitely. The Supreme Court on Monday extended a temporary block on a new Texas immigration law that is being challenged by the Biden administration. In an order issued by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court again imposed a … Continue reading

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SB4 remains on hold

Fine by me. No rush. The Supreme Court on Tuesday further delayed a new Texas law empowering state authorities to arrest and deport migrants that would transform immigration enforcement long left to the federal government. Justice Samuel Alito extended an … Continue reading

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In which I learn about our use of “Dataminr”

I have three things to say about this. The Houston Police Department will stay in the ranks of law enforcement agencies around the country using software to monitor social media for information on criminal activity following a City Council vote … Continue reading

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The Fifth Circuit remains extremely on brand

Of all the Fifth Circuits in the world, they’re the Fifth Circuitest. A new law empowering state authorities to arrest and deport migrants seeking asylum in the United States may soon take effect after an appeals court stepped in to … Continue reading

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SB4 blocked by federal court

Good. A federal judge in Austin on Thursday halted a new state law that would allow Texas police to arrest people suspected of crossing the Texas-Mexico border illegally. The law, Senate Bill 4, was scheduled to take effect Tuesday. U.S. … Continue reading

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SB4 lawsuit has its day in court

We’ll see what happens. Lawyers for the Biden administration and Texas faced off in a federal court in Austin on Thursday to argue whether a new state law that would allow police to arrest people suspected of crossing the Texas-Mexico … Continue reading

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Food Not Bombs gets temporary ticketing reprieve

Pending a ruling from the judge, so this could be very temporary or it could be for the duration of the lawsuit. A U.S. District Court judge on Wednesday ordered Houston to temporarily stop enforcing a law that requires city … Continue reading

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Food Not Bombs sues the city again

We’ll see how it goes. Food Not Bombs, a group of volunteers who serve meals outside Houston Public Library’s downtown branch, filed suit Tuesday against the city, alleging that a food-sharing ordinance is unconstitutional. The suit claims that the city’s … Continue reading

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ACLU and immigrants rights groups sue over our latest legislative atrocity

Here we go. Immigrant rights organizations have sued Texas after Gov. Greg Abbott approved one of the strictest state immigration enforcement laws, which authorizes police to arrest immigrants suspected of crossing the border illegally. In their lawsuit, the American Civil … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit does its thing with Galveston redistricting

Death, taxes, and the Fifth Circuit being terrible. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a new political map imposed on Galveston County by a lower court from taking effect. Plaintiffs are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to … Continue reading

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Galveston ordered to use its current map for 2024

Pending the Fifth Circuit, of course. A federal judge ruled Galveston County must keep its old commissioner precinct map in place for the 2024 election while a federal appeals court mulls overturning its precedent and allowing new maps which do … Continue reading

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Appellate hearing of the State Bar discipline lawsuit against Ken Paxton

Big day. Whether the Texas State Bar can take away Attorney General Ken Paxton’s law license could hinge on whether appellate justices believe the organization is trying to control what lawsuits he files on the state’s behalf — or whether … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit upholds (*) Galveston redistricting ruling

With an asterisk, as noted in the title. A federal appeals court Friday ruled that Galveston County commissioners violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act by eliminating the only majority-minority district in its latest redistricting process. The 5th Circuit Court of … Continue reading

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Appeals court reinstated State Bar lawsuit against Brent Webster

I came across this story from July while writing my post about Ken Paxton’s trial date. A court of appeals reinstated a Commission for Lawyer Discipline action against the first assistant attorney general for his role in the 2020 election-questioning … Continue reading

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Galveston redistricting ruling paused

The Fifth Circuit strikes again. Less than a week after a federal judge ruled Galveston County’s precinct maps violated the Voting Rights Act, the U.S Fifth Circuit Court issued a stay on the order. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Jeffery V. … Continue reading

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San Marcos settles “Trump Train” lawsuit

I really hope this leaves a mark, because it should. San Marcos police officers and professional staff must receive training on responding to political violence and voter intimidation and ways to develop community trust as part of a legal settlement … Continue reading

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Galveston County redistricting ruled illegal

Good news. Galveston County Commissioners Court violated the Voting Rights Act when it approved a 2021 map that greatly limited voting power for Black and Latino voters in the county, a judge ruled Friday. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge … Continue reading

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The lawsuit over the omnibus voter suppression law has begun

Settle in, this will take awhile. Two years after voting rights groups challenged Texas Republicans’ sweeping overhaul of its voting and election laws, the case comes to trial Monday in a federal court in San Antonio. The lengthy roster of … Continue reading

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Part of the omnibus voter suppression law struck down

Some good news. A federal judge in San Antonio ruled this week that it is illegal for Texas elections officials to reject mail-in ballots and the applications for them over ID mistakes on elections paperwork. The requirement was part of … Continue reading

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Galveston redistricting lawsuit gets underway

This could be a big one. n the home of Juneteenth, the culmination of Galveston County’s decade-long effort to undermine the political power of Black and Latino voters is on trial. In the only county-level redistricting case which the federal … Continue reading

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Paxton gets to fight his State Bar case after impeachment

It’s just one thing after another. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton won’t have to fight an ethics lawsuit over his challenge to the 2020 presidential election results until after his impeachment trial. Paxton’s lawyers on Tuesday asked the Fifth Court … Continue reading

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San Marcos sanctioned in Trump Train lawsuit

What a cluster. A federal judge has sanctioned San Marcos for failing to preserve phone and email records from a former employee related to the October 2020 “Trump Train” incident involving a Biden-Harris campaign bus. Campaign staffers and volunteers filed … Continue reading

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Two “Trump Train” defendants settle

Interesting. Two of the eight Trump supporters accused of participating in a “politically-motivated conspiracy” by closely following, honking at and slowing down a campaign bus for President Joe Biden on a Texas highway in the weeks leading up to the … Continue reading

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ShotSpotter

I’m more skeptical than not, but there is a way to make me less so. Two years in, Houston’s ShotSpotter program has resulted in 5,450 alerts, 99 arrests and the seizure of 107 guns, but no real consensus on its … Continue reading

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