Wendy Davis and Donna Howard, defenders of abortion access, worry the worst is yet to come after Roe decision
In interviews, the two women expressed a sense of sorrow over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow states to ban abortions, adding even more enormous obstacles to what was already an uphill battle to protect reproductive rights in Texas.
In Roe decision, Justice Clarence Thomas invites new legal challenges to contraception and same-sex marriage rights
Experts told The Texas Tribune that Thomas’ opinion signals an openness from the court to reconsidering other settled legal precedents related to rights the court has ruled are protected by the constitution.
A Texas abortion clinic survived decades of restrictions. The Supreme Court may finally put it out of business.
Abortion clinics, and the patients they serve, have always had to adapt to changing laws and tightening restrictions. But the Supreme Court seems poised to deliver the fatal blow they’ve been dodging for decades.
Judge temporarily blocks some Texas investigations into gender-affirming care for trans kids
The state has been investigating whether parents who provide access to gender-affirming health care are committing child abuse. The temporary restraining order is part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of three families and members of PFLAG, an LGBTQ advocacy group.
Judge plans to levy “substantial fines” after Texas failed to comply with court-ordered fixes to its foster care system
The judge in the 11-year federal lawsuit against Texas said the state has not properly punished or shut down unsafe child care placement facilities or curbed the rate of children who are sexually victimized while in the state’s care.
Texas AG Ken Paxton to investigate whether Twitter is understating the number of fake accounts on the platform
Twitter has said bots and fake users represent less than 5% of its accounts, but Paxton says the percentage may be higher. The inquiry comes as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is in negotiations to buy Twitter, is also raising questions about the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Austin police officers who were indicted over actions during George Floyd protests sue the city
Several demonstrators who participated in the protests in response to George Floyd’s murder were seriously injured when they were struck by police with “less than lethal” beanbag rounds. The officers’ suit says they did not receive training on how to use this type of ammunition.
Cash is piling up in Kinney County from bonds posted to free migrants arrested under Texas border crackdown
Friends, families and attorneys have posted more than $2 million to get migrants out of prison. Defense attorneys say the rural county is erecting barriers that will keep many from recovering the money when they’re entitled to it.
Texas law prohibiting social media companies from banning users over their viewpoints reinstated by appeals court
The court did not evaluate the law on its constitutionality but will allow it to go back into effect while a legal case plays out. Texas lawmakers passed the law, saying social media platforms have an anti-conservative bias.
Crystal Mason’s contentious illegal voting conviction must be reconsidered, criminal appeals court says
Mason said she didn’t know she was ineligible to vote when she cast a provisional ballot in 2016, but she was sentenced to five years in prison. Now, the Court of Criminal Appeals says an appellate court that affirmed her conviction must look again at the evidence of Mason’s intent.
A minor trespassing case gives Gov. Greg Abbott’s border initiative its first courtroom win
The trial included four prosecutors, and so many potential jurors were summoned the town sandwich shop was shorthanded for lunch. But a Kinney County jury Monday convicted a Honduran national in the first jury trial for trespassing under Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.
Lack of communication between child welfare and juvenile justice systems hurts foster kids, court monitors say
The court-appointed watchdogs expressed concern after learning that a caretaker accused of exploiting children at a state-licensed facility in Bastrop had been previously fired from a state juvenile justice facility for misconduct.
How Sandy Hook lies and the Jan. 6 inquiry threaten to undo Alex Jones
The Texas-based conspiracy theorist recently sought immunity from federal prosecutors investigating the U.S. Capitol riot. Three of his companies have filed for bankruptcy in an apparent effort to delay his Sandy Hook defamation trial.
Judge orders Biden administration to send Central American migrants to Mexico rather than their home countries
The Louisiana judge said he’ll hold a hearing in May to decide whether to block the administration from halting Title 42, the Trump-era health order that quickly sends all migrants back to Mexico.
Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick urge Texas Supreme Court to take up Ken Paxton’s appeal to whistleblower lawsuit
The two Republican state officials filed friend of the court briefs asking that the high court take up the case because it is relevant to statewide governance and to the powers of an executive office under the Texas Constitution.
“Unwinnable race”: State Sen. Beverly Powell of Burleson ends reelection bid, citing redrawn political map
Powell, a Democrat, had won Senate District 10 by winning over a coalition of diverse voters in Tarrant County. The GOP redrew the district to branch out to counties to the south and west that made it more rural and more white.
Over 100 children have died in Texas’ child welfare system since 2020, report says
Most of the deaths were attributed to “preexisting medical conditions” or abuse suffered before the children entered the system, according to the DFPS report. The numbers are on par with those reported in previous years.
Texas is quietly using redistricting lawsuits to launch a broader war against federal voting rights law
As Texas defends against accusations that its new political maps are discriminatory, it’s laying the groundwork to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out longstanding Voting Rights Act protections.
Judge loses trust in Texas’ child abuse investigation of foster care facility and calls for federal inquiry
U.S. District Judge Janis Jack said she is seeking a federal criminal investigation into allegations that children were sexually abused and trafficked at The Refuge, a state-licensed foster care shelter for victims of sex trafficking.
Federal judge says Waller County voting process did not discriminate against Black college students
A group of students at Prairie View A&M University sued the county, claiming it set up an election schedule in 2018 that offered students — most of them Black — fewer opportunities to vote early than the county’s white residents.
U.S. Supreme Court tells Texas to let a condemned man’s pastor touch him and pray aloud during execution
The Supreme Court ruled that the state likely violated death row inmate John Ramirez’s religious liberties when it denied his request to have his pastor lay his hands on him and pray during his upcoming execution.
Ted Cruz and John Cornyn question Ketanji Brown Jackson about anti-racism books, Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the other Republican senator from Texas, asked the nominee about the court case legalizing gay marriage and questioned her defense of Guantánamo Bay detainees who allegedly faced mistreatment.
Texas child welfare official resigns, saying top agency leaders scapegoated employees
The former child care investigations director said there are agency-wide communication issues that led to a breakdown in relaying key information, but two of his staff members are the ones who suffered the consequences.
Trump appointees are helping Texas derail Biden’s immigration agenda
Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office has sued the Biden administration 20 times in Texas federal courts over everything from mask mandates to immigration policies. Trump-appointed judges have ruled in seven of them, all in favor of Texas.
Ken Paxton, lawyers for parents of trans kids disagree on whether child abuse investigations can continue
Paxton tweeted Friday that investigations into parents of transgender children would continue as a result of his appeal. But the state’s child welfare agency won’t confirm the status of the investigations.
Judges, attorneys seek ways to alleviate court system back-up
HOUSTON The Texas Supreme Court recently ordered no jury trials or jury selections are to take place before Aug. 1, unless a plan is submitted and approved by the Office of Court Administration. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree the system cant handle much more of a back-up and they have got to find a way to get things moving. Thiessen said only 10 people are allowed in a courtroom at a time and that includes court staff. Thiessen and Musick both were quick to say the idea of trial participants wearing masks wont work. The back-up in the courts is also leading to an increase in the population at the Harris County jail.