Tag Archives: Joe Biden

The DFW high speed rail line hits a bump

Whoops. Dallas City Council members hit the brakes on a proposed elevated high-speed passenger rail line that would connect with Arlington and Fort Worth. The council, including Mayor Eric Johnson, approved a resolution 14-0, with council member Jaime Resendez absent. … Continue reading

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Federal judge strikes down Florida laws against gender-affirming care for minors and adults

Of interest, for obvious reasons. Florida can no longer enforce its ban against transgender youth receiving gender-affirming care, or its restrictions against adults accessing gender-affirming care, after a federal district court ruling on Tuesday found those rules to be unconstitutional … Continue reading

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SCOTUS swats away that bogus mifepristone case

A good and expected result, though the door for future challenges remains open. A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the anti-abortion doctor plaintiffs in a major mifepristone case lack standing to reimpose restrictions on the drug. The case presented … Continue reading

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Lone Star Rail revival

Maybe now is finally the time. Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai and Travis County Judge Andy Brown have jointly launched a committee of political heavyweights to explore the decades-old idea of connecting Austin and San Antonio via passenger rail. The … Continue reading

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That other high speed rail line update

Keep on moving. Transportation planners in North Texas continue their efforts to bring high-speed rail to the area, a system that would link Dallas and Fort Worth via Arlington and push south to Houston. The North Central Texas Council of … Continue reading

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The brain worm guy submits his petitions

He’ll probably be on the ballot. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the anti-vaccine activist and environmental lawyer, said Monday he submitted more than double the necessary petition signatures to appear on the November presidential ballot in Texas. Kennedy, the son of … Continue reading

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City of Houston also gets a federal solar grant

Nice. Houston has received $2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance its sustainable energy goals, which Mayor John Whitmire has yet to define for his new administration. The department announced Wednesday that it has selected the city … Continue reading

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Amtrak is going hard for the high speed rail line

I love it. If Texas ends up getting a long-envisioned high-speed railway between Houston and Dallas, the Amtrak executive now leading the initiative says it would feature the fastest trains in the world. The plan for the 240-mile route between … Continue reading

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Paxton sues over new federal LGBTQ+ protections in schools

Oh, look, his favorite judge is available. Texas Republican leaders are pushing back on the Biden administration’s new rules that bar schools from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he would direct … Continue reading

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More on Amtrak and Texas Central

Some good followup in the Chron on the question of Amtrak pushing the high speed rail line in Texas. With Amtrak taking the reins, for now, of a Texas bullet train project, here’s some of the issues that will determine … Continue reading

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SCOTUS hears the EMTALA case

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. The Supreme Court appeared split Wednesday in a case over whether a federal law requiring hospitals to provide appropriate stabilizing medical treatment for patients could in some cases overrule a … Continue reading

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Amtrak pushes for Texas Central

I like the sound of that. Booming demand, Texas’s rapidly expanding population and growing political will have converged to create the right environment to move high-speed rail ahead, Amtrak leadership said Tuesday. Andy Byford, Amtrak’s senior vice president of high-speed … Continue reading

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Is Ted Cruz ever going to feel some pressure about abortion?

News item #1: Whatever happens in Arizona in November, we got a preview of the difficulty Republican candidates will have in states where high-stakes ballot initiatives literally put abortion on the ballot. Shortly after Arizona’s high court ruled that the … Continue reading

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Trying again on judge shopping

If at first you don’t succeed… U.S. Senate leaders introduced legislation to end “judge shopping” — a practice that’s made a federal courthouse in Amarillo with a Trump-appointed judge a destination for conservative litigants challenging Biden administration policies. Senate Majority … Continue reading

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More Census changes coming

This seems like a good idea. On the next U.S. census and future federal government forms, the list of checkboxes for a person’s race and ethnicity is officially getting longer. The Biden administration has approved proposals for a new response … 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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The judge-shopping will continue for the foreseeable future

We’re gonna have to make them stop. The chief judge of the northern district of Texas, home to infamous Trump judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, has informed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that the district will not change its case assigning … 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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SCOTUS seems likely to dump the mifepristone ban case

Some good news. For this Supreme Court to reject abortion restrictions, the argument has to be pretty bad. “That it?” Justice Amy Coney Barrett cut in tersely as anti-abortion group lawyer Erin Hawley (yes, that Hawley) enumerated the supposed harms … 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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There may finally be some resistance to judge-shopping in federal courts

Good news. The Judicial Conference, the policymaking body for federal courts, announced Tuesday that it would take action against the judge-shopping that has let right-wing litigants funnel cases to friendly, often Donald Trump-appointed judges. “The policy addresses all civil actions … 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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There’s only one way forward after this primary

The worst people you know had a very good week last week. It’s likely to get better for them after the runoffs. These headlines capture the essence of it: ‘Disastrous’: A shaken Texas House prepares for rightward shift after record … Continue reading

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Initial thoughts on the 2024 primary

Some opening considerations as we peruse the final unofficial voting data. Before you read my words, go check out Stace, Campos, Reform Austin, and the Texas Signal. Here we go: – Final turnout in Harris County was 176,396 for Dems … Continue reading

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Primary 2024 results: Democratic headlines

It’s going to be a late night and I have a couple of long days ahead of me, so I’m going to do some quick summaries based on what I now know, and will come back later to fill the … 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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Any early thoughts about what primary turnout might look like?

Why yes I do, thanks for asking. The early indicators are that we are in for lower than usual turnout. With President Joe Biden facing only token opposition in the Democratic primary and Trump pulling away on the GOP side, … 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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SCOTUS to hear Idaho EMTALA appeal

This does sound ominous. The Supreme Court announced Friday that it would take up a case centered on abortion care in emergency medical situations, leapfrogging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which was scheduled to hear arguments later this month. … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit rules EMTALA doesn’t apply to abortions

A typically crappy ruling from our least favorite appeals court. Federal regulations do not require emergency rooms to perform life-saving abortions if it would run afoul of state law, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. After the overturn of Roe … Continue reading

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