Texas attorney general sues Pfizer, claiming vaccines didn’t end pandemic quickly enough
Experts argue other assertions made in the lawsuit filing are completely unsubstantiated, such as one claiming that vaccinated people were more likely to die from COVID-19, which Texas health data disputes.
How one man's open records obsession sparked a fight over transparency and power in East Texas
Once a tool of journalists and concerned citizens to hold government accountable, open records requests have been increasingly used by political opponents and conspiracy theorists to slow down the pace of government.
Ken Paxton announces investigation of media group following Elon Musk’s lawsuit
After a report from Media Matters showed advertisements from major brands appeared next to antisemitic posts on X, the company sued the media watchdog group and its reporter. The Texas Attorney General’s Office plans to investigate the nonprofit for potential fraud.
Federal court overturns Texas agency’s pollution permit for Gulf Coast natural gas export terminal
Judges overturned a state air pollution permit that was issued last year, arguing that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality illegally enabled Port Arthur LNG to avoid emissions control requirements.
Federal judge seems wary of Texas ban on TikTok at public universities
Last year, Texas joined more than 30 other states in banning TikTok on government-issued cell phones and computers. A nationwide coalition of professors are suing the state over the ban, arguing it has limited their ability to teach and research the social media app.
Texas appeals court weighing whether state bar can discipline Ken Paxton for challenging 2020 presidential election
The legal battle stems from the attorney general’s unsuccessful 2020 lawsuit that leaned heavily on discredited claims of election fraud in other states. Paxton’s lawyers argue that the bar’s lawsuit is an attempt to control how he runs his office.
Appeals court considers Texas’ challenge to federal abortion guidance
The federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requires hospitals to stabilize any patient in the emergency room, even, the Biden administration noted in recent guidance, if that requires performing an abortion. Texas sued over the guidance last year.
U.S. Supreme Court hears Texas case about whether domestic violence suspects can be banned from having guns
The high court heard arguments in the case brought by Zackey Rahimi, who went on a shooting spree after being placed under a domestic violence protective order. Rahimi argues that his constitutional right to bear arms was violated.
Sex trafficking, drugs and assault: Texas foster kids and caseworkers face chaos in rental houses and hotels
A report from Department of Family and Protective Services watchdogs paints a picture of a roughshod safety-net system that is unprepared to protect its youthful charges from predators and unable to keep them from endangering themselves.
Federal judge orders immigration agents to stop removing Texas’ concertina wire on the border
Border Patrol agents have cut through the state’s wire to free migrants or take them into custody. Judge Alia Moses will hear arguments from Texas and the Biden administration next week to determine whether her temporary order will continue past Nov. 13.
How Texas lawmakers are trying to deter illegal immigration and secure the border
Two Texas House members and an immigration lawyer sat down with Matthew Watkins, the Tribune’s managing editor of news and politics, to discuss the current state of Texas’ border and immigration bills that lawmakers are weighing during the special session.
One-third of Texas foster care caseworkers left their jobs last year as the agency continued putting kids in hotels
The Department of Family and Protective Services has increasingly relied on housing foster kids in hotels when it can’t find them a home. In the 2022 fiscal year, after record staff turnover, more than 1 in 4 caseworkers had less than one year of experience.
A unique Texas legal rule lets the attorney general’s office supersede some judges’ orders
Lawyers criticize a provision they say erodes the separation of powers between Texas’ executive branch and its courts. It’s been used repeatedly this year as Texans try to block new state laws from going into effect
Texas Supreme Court lets state law eliminating Harris County elections chief stand, for now
The ruling means the November elections in the state’s largest county will be overseen by two other county officials. Legislators targeted Harris County’s elections department after taking issue with the way the 2022 elections were run.
A prison guard says she was forced to stay at her post during labor pains. Texas is fighting compensation for her stillbirth.
The seven-months-pregnant officer reported contraction-like pains at work, but said she wasn’t allowed to leave for hours. The anti-abortion state is fighting her lawsuit, in part by saying her fetus didn’t clearly have rights.
LGBTQ+ advocates sue to block Texas’ new law that could criminalize some drag performances
State officials backing Senate Bill 12 have said they want to protect children from seeing sexually explicit performances. But new legal challenges say the law is so broad and vague that it criminalizes constitutionally protected expression.
Part 2: Texas backlash to Obama fueled conservative drive to reinterpret U.S. Constitution
Barraging the Obama administration with lawsuits, the Texas attorney general’s office wasn’t just trying to block policies. It was injecting disruptive, overtly Christian legal philosophies into the mainstream, and grooming a generation of conservative legal warriors.
Part 1: In 1998, a legal revolution was quietly born in Texas. It would pull America’s courts rightward.
With his election as Texas attorney general, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn planted the seeds of conservatism. Gov. Greg Abbott used his tenure to cultivate them into an aggressive strain of right-wing activism aimed at driving the nation’s courts and laws to the right.
Part 3: Under Trump, Texas’ foot soldiers became federal judges, securing a conservative stronghold in the courts
A federal judiciary full of ideological allies is helping Texas block Democratic priorities and advance right-wing legal doctrines. But the bigger prize is conservative control of the rule of law itself.
Race-based college admissions are now banned, but Texas schools still have ways to ensure campuses are diverse
Higher education experts say universities can implement other strategies like targeted recruitment in underserved communities, eliminating legacy admissions and getting rid of test requirements.
University of North Texas can charge out-of-state students higher tuition than undocumented Texans, appeals court rules
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a federal judge’s previous injunction that barred the college from charging out-of-state American citizens more than undocumented immigrants living in the state.
Houston sues state in attempt to block new law that erodes cities’ power
House Bill 2127 — dubbed the “Death Star” law by opponents — prevents local governments from creating rules that go further than what’s allowed under broad areas of state law. Houston’s suit says the new law violates the state’s constitution.
New Texas laws favor parents in child abuse investigations as legislators try to limit number of kids in foster care
Legislators also passed bills that will provide foster kids entering the troubled system with duffel bags or backpacks and those aging out of the system with help setting up bank accounts.
Judge admonishes Texas foster care officials, saying they don’t properly monitor facilities housing kids
A U.S. district judge has long presided over a court case that found Texas’ foster care system unconstitutionally harms kids. Tuesday’s hearing was the first appearance by the state’s new team of defense attorneys.
Twenty years after a breakthrough Texas case launched a new era of gay rights, trans people are still in the fight
The U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for major civil rights victories for queer Americans in the 2003 decision that decriminalized homosexuality. But progress for LGBTQ+ people has been uneven.
Supreme Court rejects Texas effort to force Biden administration to change deportation policy
Texas and Louisiana sued after the Biden administration told immigration agents to focus on deporting undocumented immigrants who are convicted of felonies or pose a risk to public safety. The Supreme Court said states didn’t have any standing to sue.
Where Texas redistricting lawsuits stand after U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Alabama case
The high court left intact a key provision of the federal Voting Rights Act in a case many feared would go the other way. The decision’s importance in ongoing litigation over Texas’ political maps will largely be felt in what didn’t happen.
“Seems obscene” says federal appeals court judge during hearing for Llano County library book removal case
A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans heard oral arguments Wednesday for an appeal to overturn a judge’s order that Llano County officials return to shelves books they had removed. It was not clear how or when the appellate panel would rule.
After doctors left Dell Children’s adolescent clinic, Austin teens and their families are scrambling to find specialty care
The adolescent clinic treated eating disorders and menstrual complications. It also offered gender-affirming care — which is still legal for now but triggered an investigation by Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Texas House’s weekend off means key Senate bills die after missing a legislative deadline
Priority bills that died include a 10-year minimum sentencing for gun-related crimes, a ban on “critical race theory” at public universities and LGBTQ-related legislation. While the bills may be dead, lawmakers have a limited time to attach their ideas to legislation that are still alive.
Texas may soon have a process to remove local prosecutors who won’t pursue abortion, election cases
The bill would allow for the removal of prosecutors who adopt any policy to not pursue certain crimes, including some low-level theft and drug charges. The Senate’s version will need to be reconciled with the House, which had carved out some exemptions.
“A way to throw kids away”: Texas’ troubled juvenile justice department is sending more children to adult prisons
Moving the most violent and troubled youths to adult prison makes it easier to help others in juvenile facilities, some prosecutors and lawmakers say. Youth justice advocates say Texas is giving up on the children who most need help.
TribCast: A major Texas abortion case and a potential Gov. Greg Abbott pardon in a murder trial
In this week’s episode, we discuss an attempt to use the courts in Texas to restrict the use of an abortion drug and Gov. Greg Abbott’s potential pardon of an Army sergeant found guilty of murdering a protester in Austin.