Texas

  • May 21, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Irin Carmon of MSNBC reports on a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that the Hobby Lobby decision does not mean religiously affiliated organizations can choose not to fill out a form to opt out of birth control coverage.   

    Mark Berman of The Washington Post writes that the Nebraska legislature has passed a bill to abolish the death penalty in the state.

    At Salon, Katie McDonough also explores the Seventh Circuit’s ruling and warns that “this isn’t the final word on the case, and the religious objectors will live to fight another day.”

    Jennifer L. Clark writes at the blog for the Brennan Center for Justice that Texas legislators are again trying to make it more difficult for citizens to vote.

    At Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman takes a look at the Supreme Court’s decision in Comptroller v. Wynne, calling it “one of the strangest 5-4 lineups” in recent memory.

    Scott Lemieux considers at the Lawyers, Guns & Money blog the potential aftermath of the King v. Burwell ruling.

    Dahlia Lithwick of Slate writes about the many new dramatizations of Supreme Court justices.

  • February 20, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Mark Berman reports for The Washington Post that a Texas county has issued the state’s first marriage license to a same-sex couple. The Texas Supreme Court has issued a stay to halt other such marriages, and the Texas attorney general is arguing that the same-sex couple’s marriage is void, reports the Associated Press.

    Also in The Washington Post, George Sargent writes that a Supreme Court decision against the Affordable Care Act could cost the United States billions of dollars.

    At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur examines the strategy of Affordable Care Act defenders to persuade Chief Justice John Roberts in King v. Burwell.

    Joel Cohen considers in Slate how to reform grand juries in the wake of the controversial Ferguson grand jury and public distrust of the grand jury system.

    At the blog for the Brennan Center for Justice, Michael Li discusses two Texas redistricting cases working their way through the courts.

    Gail Collins writes for The New York Times about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s growing popularity and refusal to retire.

  • November 3, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Geoffrey R. Stone, the former ACS Board Chair and current co-chair of the Board of Advisors for the ACS Chicago Lawyer Chapter, explains in The Daily Beast the importance of Senate elections for the courts.

    Shailia Dewan reports in The New York Times on the judicial race in Montana in which record amounts of money are being spent.

    In Slate’s “Amicus” podcast, Dahlia Lithwick looks at judicial elections, state voter ID laws, and the voting problems expected in the upcoming election.

    The Brennan Center for Justice provides stories of voting in Texas, a state with one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country.

    Jenée Desmond-Harris provides a list in Vox of ways voters’ rights could be violated on Election Day and how voters can respond. 

  • October 31, 2013
    Guest Post
    by Gerald Torres, Marc and Beth Goldberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; Bryant Smith Chair, University of Texas Law School
     
    A recent Huffington Post article by Alex Palombo accuses Texas of discriminating against women in the exercise of the franchise because it has imposed new rules for voting which require all Texans to…
     
    “…show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. It sounds like such a small thing, but according to the Brennan Center for Justice, only 66 percent of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because young women have not updated their documents with their married names, a circumstance that doesn’t affect male votes in any significant way. Suddenly 34 percent of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID while 99 percent of men are home free.”
     
    The law also imposes requirements of original documents for name change and a minimum fee of $20 to obtain acceptable copies of the documents. These requirements, in conjunction with registration deadlines, will leave many women unable to vote. Palombo views this as an assault on the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote, suggesting that “if the Tea Party gets their way, the only people left to vote will be wealthy white men.”
     
    Is this column another example of fear mongering from the Left? Rather than a regressive return to the days when women had no independent political existence, let alone a right to vote, Texas’ new laws surely represent the strongest possible statement supporting women’s independent personhood.  Governor Perry and his legislative confederates cannot have intended to keep women from voting or to impose new, oppressive barriers to women’s participation in the political process, right? That would be illegal.
  • December 10, 2012

    by Jeremy Leaming

    During his early morning re-election speech, President Obama took note of the difficulties scores of voters faced in casting ballots this year, such as standing in lengthy, slow-moving lines for hours. Something we have to fix the president said. 

    Many of the problems for voters this election year, as noted often on this blog, were created by lawmakers in a string of states apparently bent on making voting a more difficult procedure, though they cloaked the intentions in language about protecting the integrity of the vote. But a closer examination of the actions taken by those lawmakers – limiting early voting hours, clamping down on voter registration drives and implementing onerous voter ID requirements – revealed political efforts to keep certain people away from the polls, namely minorities, college students, low-income people and the elderly. See the ACS Issue Brief by Loyola law school professor Justin Levitt on many of the restrictive vote measures, which he concluded made for poor and potentially unconstitutional policy.

    The Washington Post editorial board in “Repairing America’s elections,” highlighting voting difficulties in Northern Virginia, noted in part, “Poorly trained poll workers get confused by constantly changing laws and procedures. Voter registration and record-keeping are getting more high-tech, but there are still many kinks. Many states lack policies that could take some of the pressure off, such as early voting.”

    The editorial reports that some in Congress, such as Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) are pushing a measure similar to the Obama administration’s educational “Race to the Top,” initiative. That measure, in part, would “dangle the possibility of grants to states that put together election reform programs” that include expansion of early voting and “more flexible registration rules ….”