Charles Manson, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Lloyd Wright and Chuck Berry: what do these men have in common?They were all charged with violating the Mann Act, also known at the White Slavery law. The progressive era law has been on the books for over one hundred years - and was used to build the FBI - enforce a moral code against sexual deviancy and promote gender roles for women. The Mann Act was America’s first anti–sex trafficking law.
Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:39 pm
On Dec. 3, Texas is scheduled to execute Scott Panetti for murdering his in-laws in 1992. There is no doubt he committed the crime, and there is also no doubt that Panetti is mentally ill. But he was deemed fit to stand trial, and he was allowed to defend himself, dressing in a cowboy costume in court, insisting he was a character from a John Wayne movie.
Over the course of the last two decades — and many appeals — his case has gained national attention, and it has shone a spotlight on capital punishment and mental illness.
Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 12:57 pm
A football dream ended in Texas last night, as the little town of Booker saw its high school team lose for the first time this year, eliminating them from the state playoffs. But Booker High School has plenty to celebrate — the 29 players on its team include the state's all-time leading passer and leading receiver.
Texas continues to be a hot bed for testing what can be done with a gutted Voting Rights Act. This week five residents of Pasadena Texas filed a lawsuit against their City Council. They say a recently reconfiguring of the city's council districts dilutes the Latino vote. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund is joining the case. Nina Perales is MALDEF’s Vice President of Litigation and lead counsel in the case.
During the recent voting process in Texas polling officials were dealing with the implementation of Voter I.D. Voters had to provide photo identification before they could cast a ballot. The law was on again and off again after a federal judge in Corpus Christi found that the law was an unconstitutional poll tax and deliberately discriminated against minority voters. The judge threw out voter i.d. for the midterms but it was put back in place on appeal. But that’s not all that was in the ruling.
Low voter turnout, questions about Latino participation and the power of the primary; it all adds up to another lopsided victory for the Republican Party of Texas. The ugly streak of losses continues for the Democrats. For further analysis of the election returns and what happens next for Texas governance – we turn to Harvey Kronberg – editor of the Quorum Report.
Tuesday night, November 4, Texans picked new office holders. There was little surprise that republicans again swept the state and Attorney General Greg Abbott will be sworn in as the next governor.
That night Abbott gave his victory speech as the governor-elect of Texas.
"As Texans, the bonds we share transcend our differences," Abbott said. "We all want to live in safer communities, have greater opportunities, and to give all of our children lives worthy of their promise."
Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 1:21 pm
Texas politics is about to take another big step to the right. While nobody outside Texas would describe Gov. Rick Perry or Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst as moderate Republicans, their likely replacements are considerably more conservative — especially in the powerful lieutenant governor's office.
The eyes watching Texas have mostly focused on the governor's race between Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott. But the contest between former conservative radio talk show host Dan Patrick and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte from San Antonio will very likely be of more political consequence.