A panel of judges from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals were in Austin yesterday to hear oral arguments in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
Austin-resident Abigail Fisher argued she lost her spot at UT because she’s white and took her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court did not make a ruling and instead kicked it back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, saying the court needed to take another look at UT admission policies.
Attorneys for a group of abortion rights groups and clinics have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency order to overturn the ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court, which overturned an initial decision on parts of Texas' new abortion restriction law and allowed those restrictions to take immediate effect.
The ruling by the Fifth Circuit allowed two restrictions to take effect: Doctors at clinics performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, and doctors must provide patients with FDA guidelines when prescribing the abortion drug RU-486.
Despite the passion of future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall for his Groveland Case, a case where 4 black men were falsely convicted of raping a 17-year-old white girl, the reason Gilbert King chose this chapter of Marshall's life to write about it was because it was largely overlooked in biographies of the man.
A lawsuit filed by several civil rights groups this week could result in continued federal oversight of Texas voting laws despite a Supreme Court ruling that section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.
Section 4 mandated that some states, including Texas, must get pre-clearance for any voting changes made by the legislature.
It took two separate Senate committees less than 10 minutes to pass a set of transportation funding and juvenile justice bills that are similar to those seen during the first special session.
Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, who authored the transportation bill from the first session, said many in the Texas House were not comfortable with a hard $6 billion ceiling for money from the Rainy Day Fund that will be transferred into transportation funding.
The chief legal counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is applauding Gov. Rick Perry for signing into law the interim voting maps, but said not having a Voting Rights Act leaves minority communities vulnerable.
This week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
Nina Perales is the chief legal counsel for the MALDEF and said the supreme court has taken away a tool for fair and equitable state voting maps.
The sweeping decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 by the U.S. Supreme Court caused rallies of support across the country on Wednesday. Several hundred people celebrating the ruling gathered at the Bexar County Courthouse.
Activists and other people of all ages holding both rainbow and American flags, and a sign that said "love is love" flooded in front of the courthouse to cheer on the rulings of the Supreme Court. Many of those attending had smiles on their faces, adding to the mood of victory as they danced.
Section four of the Voting Rights Act has been eliminated, and Texas can now legally enforce its voter I.D. law according to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Section four outlined which states would fall under the discretion of the Department of Justice what would require pre-clearance for implanting new voting laws under section five. Moments after the Supreme Court decision, Abbott issued a statement saying the Texas Voter I.D. law would take effect immediately.