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.
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.
Biden administration settles lawsuit over Trump-era migrant family separation policy
If the settlement is approved, the federal government would be prohibited from adopting a similar policy for the next eight years. Affected immigrants would be allowed to be in the country legally and receive work permits and other benefits.
Legislative marathon delays criminal trial for North Texas House member charged with felony
Rep. Frederick Frazier was indicted over a year ago on two charges of impersonating a public servant. But the case has not gone to trial yet, partly because Frazier has been able to delay the case until the Legislature concludes its work.
In the shadow of James Byrd’s murder, city leaders can’t agree how to move this East Texas town forward
Jasper’s second Black mayor wants to help residents pay their bills while a younger city council wants to invest in the city’s culture. Residents call their heated arguments at city council meetings “foolishness” and “embarrassing.”
Amid personal conflict, Hays County clerk turned to Republican’s ‘rogue’ prosecutor law to oust fellow Democrat
Personal conflict between two newly elected Democrats briefly escalated into public view. An attempt to remove one from county office came in the background of university, state and federal impeachment attempts.
Texas inmate killed by cellmate during a statewide prison lockdown
The killing of inmate Billy Chemirmir in the Coffield Unit occurred during a statewide lockdown of prisons, promoted by a rise in inmate homicides. A day before the lockdown, another incident at the same prison resulted in the firings of seven correctional officers and the resignations of another six.
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.
Watch how a Texas professor used art to honor Uvalde’s lost kids
After the tragic Uvalde school shooting in 2022, Abel Ortiz, an art professor at Southwest Texas Junior College, asked artists from across the state to come together to use the power of art to heal. See the results of their efforts in this video.
Gov. Greg Abbott sends more state police to patrol Austin after city leaders call for end to partnership
Austin Mayor Kirk Watson had said that troopers pulling a gun on a 10-year-old prompted the end of the agreement. A video of that encounter shows troopers with guns pointed at the ground, not the child.
Texas’ highest criminal court emphatically rejects death row inmate Rodney Reed’s claim of innocence
Reed, a Black man on death row for more than 25 years, has gained international support for his claims that he did not kill 19-year-old Stacey Stites, a white woman. Another appeal over DNA testing of evidence is still pending.
Inmates are dying in stifling Texas prisons, but the state seldom acknowledges heat as a cause of death
Since a heat wave gripped Texas, at least nine inmates, including two men in their 30s, have died of heart attacks or unknown causes in prisons lacking air conditioning. It’s been 11 years since the state last classified a death as heat-related.
State troopers will resume patrolling Austin streets in July, with some changes in response to criticism
Texas Department of Public Safety officers were criticized for the disparate number of Latino and Black residents arrested during the first iteration of a partnership to help Austin with policing duties.
Nate Paul, Austin developer at center of Ken Paxton impeachment, arrested in Travis County
It is not immediately clear what Paul was charged with, but Travis County officials confirmed he was being held in the jail at the request of the FBI. Paxton’s deputies accused Paul of bribing the now-suspended attorney general in 2020.
Aide to Ken Paxton calls investigation into attorney general “illegal,” says Paxton can’t be impeached for current allegations
Chris Hilton, head of litigation in the attorney general’s office, told reporters that lawmakers can’t oust Paxton. His comments came as a House committee met behind closed doors about its investigation into the state’s top lawyer.
What to know about Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s long-running scandals and legal battles
Less than a year into his first term, Paxton was charged with felony securities fraud. The Justice Department is investigating bribery allegations against him as a Texas House committee conducts its own probe into his behavior.
Listen: Through art, keepsakes and advocacy, families are making sure the 21 Uvalde victims are not forgotten
Wednesday marks exactly a year since a mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. The community continues to grapple with the trauma and pain, and for those who lost someone that day, they’re determined to keep the memories of their loved ones alive.
Gun safety advocates see signs of progress in first session after Uvalde shooting even though raise-the-age bill stalled
Emotions often ran high over a proposal to limit young adults’ access to some firearms. Lawmakers have largely prioritized school safety measures, but there was still progress for some gun-related legislation.
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.
After Title 42’s end, Texas DPS pauses Austin patrols so officers can head to the border
Despite no major influx in border crossings, state troopers will be relocated to border cities. Austin and the Texas Department of Public Safety faced criticism for the racial disparities in state trooper arrests in the capital.
Bill striking unconstitutional state law that criminalized homosexuality fails to meet critical deadline in the Texas House
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ law banning sodomy in 2003. It took almost 20 years for Democrats to get a bill to repeal the defunct ban on the House calendar.
Texas House passes ban on devices that modify handguns, but averts vote on increasing age to buy semi-automatic rifles
A Texas lawmaker introduced an amendment that would have revived a proposal to raise the minimum age to buy certain semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 before it was ultimately withdrawn.
Daniel Perry is sentenced to 25 years for killing an Austin protester. Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged to pardon him.
Perry’s case has become an explosive political stew of arguments over gun rights, self defense and racist social media posts. The governor dived in early, saying he would pardon Perry even before a judge handed down the sentence.
In surprise move days after Allen mall shooting, Texas House panel OKs bill raising age to buy semi-automatic rifles
The legislation would raise the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms but likely wouldn’t have been a hindrance to the Allen gunman obtaining a weapon. The bill still faces an uphill climb in the Legislature.
Progressive causes lose big in San Antonio and El Paso charter elections
San Antonio voters rejected by wide margins an effort to decriminalize abortion and require police to issue citations rather than make arrests for some nonviolent offenses. In El Paso, an effort to wean the city from fossil fuels fared similarly poorly.
Once again, tension builds after state police are deployed to a major Texas city
A month after the Texas Department of Public Safety began patrolling Austin streets, city officials have both praised a drop in violent crime and condemned the operation’s disparate impact on Latino and Black residents. In 2019, Dallas faced the same challenges.
“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.