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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 04:58 PM
Number of posts: 136,434

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Good article on Texas GOP meeting being worried about keeping Texas red


Texas republicans are worried

Court Slaps Down Abbott, and Sides with Wendy Davis...Again

This makes me smile http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=824cb3251abbeba9dfdf52496&id=0a92136dd9&e=88f3e58ec1

Earlier today, the 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals granted a motion by attorneys representing Wendy Davis and other plaintiffs to dismiss an appeal filed by Attorney General Greg Abbott regarding attorneys’ fees. The decision by the Appeals Court is another in a series of miscalculations by Greg Abbott, who has lost every single substantive legal argument in his redistricting battle with Davis.

Earlier this year, the three-judge Federal District Court in San Antonio ruled that Senator Davis and fellow plaintiffs are the prevailing parties in the State Senate redistricting case. Following the District Court’s ruling, attorneys for the Davis plaintiffs filed a motion to recover attorney fees and expenses as the prevailing parties. Rather than wait for the District Court to issue a final fee decision, Attorney General Abbott rushed to the 5th Circuit US Appeals Court in an attempt to head off a fee award and somehow reverse the finding of the Davis plaintiffs as the prevailing party.

Abbott’s appeal was doomed from the outset. Precedent that is well known among experienced legal counsel (except apparently within Greg Abbott’s office) makes clear that the US Appeals Court does not have jurisdiction until a fee award is actually made.

Commenting upon the ruling, Davis legal counsel, J Gerald Hebert said, “I suppose the only persons surprised by this ruling are Greg Abbott and his attorneys in the AG’s office. The dismissal of their appeal was in keeping with fairly well known legal precedent. They’re seldom right, but at least they are consistent.”

Greg is a very bad attorney and keeps on losing these cases.

Juanita Jean and Bubba are grandparents

Baby boy weighing 8 pounds 13 oz

Was George Zimmerman’s 911 Call a Clever Piece of Propaganda?

It was clear in the Zimmerman trial that Zimmerman knows something about the law and how to take advantage of the law. I tend to agree with this articles conclusion that Zimmerman's latest 911 call was a way to get his story out in a fashion where he would not be subject to cross examination http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/11/20/george_zimmerman_samantha_scheibe_was_the_trayvon_martin_shooter_s_911_call.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

The Associated Press published a thought-provoking story Tuesday suggesting that Zimmerman and Scheibe called 911 knowing that the recordings of their calls were admissible in court, and would likely be made public. As such, it’s not unreasonable to think that both calls may have been intended as pre-emptive public relations efforts in addition to requests for police assistance. According to the AP, this sort of strategic 911 call “spinning” is a common tactic among savvy defendants and accusers:

"There really has been what I would call a multiyear training program in place, frankly" to use 911 calls strategically, says former Massachusetts prosecutor Wendy Murphy. "And folks, especially people who understand high-profile crimes and the nature of evidence and the rules of evidence and domestic abuse generally, they (know) the power of a 911 call to change not only the trajectory of the case, but to change public opinion and to affect the jury pool."
For defendants or accusers, a 911 call is a way to get their side of the story on the record without having to testify in court. “It allows him to speak without the fear of cross-examination,” a San Francisco lawyer told the AP in reference to George Zimmerman’s most recent 911 call. “So if he can get his side out, and in a clear way, he never has to face the other side asking him questions or follow-ups.”

....Spinning an emergency dispatcher is a technique best deployed by someone exactly like George Zimmerman: a well-known alleged repeat offender with a bad reputation, good lawyers, and a habit of finding himself in your-word-against-mine situations. The tactic is obviously most valuable in cases where there’s very little physical evidence, and that’s the case in many alleged domestic assault incidents, which often come down to the relative credibility of the accuser and the defendant. As prosecutor Wendy Murphy indicated in the AP story, a strategic 911 call from an alleged abuser could well be effective in establishing reasonable doubt that a given assault actually took place in the way the victim claims. If the Zimmerman table-smashing case ever comes to trial, I’m sure that Zimmerman’s lawyer will use his client’s 911 call in exactly that fashion.

Zimmerman avoided taking the stand in his first trial and there is no way that a good lawyer would let Zimmerman ever take the stand

The City of Houston to offer same-sex spousal benefits

Way to go Houston http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-to-offer-same-sex-spousal-benefits-4996173.php?cmpid=hpbn

The city of Houston will offer health and life insurance benefits to all spouses of legally married employees, including same-sex couples, despite a voter-approved 2001 charter amendment that had banned the practice, Mayor Annise Parker announced Wednesday.

Parker's action relied on a legal opinion from City Attorney David Feldman that cited the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act this year, federal agencies' subsequent decisions to recognize legal same-sex marriages and other relevant case law.

"Based on the right to equal protection under the law, it is unconstitutional for the city to continue to deny benefits to the same-sex spouses of our employees who are legally married," Parker said. "This change is not only the legal thing to do, it is the right, just and fair thing to do."

Texas Student Group Criticized For Controversial 'Catch An Illegal Immigrant' Event

The Young Conservatives of Texas are not nice people http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/texas-student-group-criticized-for-controversial-catch-an-immigrant-event

The University of Texas Austin chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas is under fire for holding what it calls a "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" event on Wednesday.

According to a Monday Facebook post by the group's chairman, Lorenzo Garcia, the event will feature students walking around campus with T-shirts that read "illegal immigrant." Anyone who can "catch" a person wearing the shirt and bring them back to the group will receive a $25 gift card.

"The purpose of this event is to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives," Garcia wrote in the Facebook post.

Current and former UT students were offended by the event.

Trial date for voter id case set for Sept 2, 2014

The trial date for the voter id lawsuit is set for September 2, 2014 http://txredistricting.org/post/67076222054/trial-in-the-texas-voter-id-case-set-for-september-2 The trial court went with the request of Rep. Veasey to have a trial in time for a ruling before the November 2014 general election and rejected the DOJ’s request to hold the trial in 2015.

This is good news. There is a Section 2 trial going on in Wisconsin right now and the ruling in that case may help this case. There is some hope that there may be a ruling prior the November 2014 election.

The court did not rule on the request of the True the Vote group to join in this case. The DOJ filed a good brief contesting the intervention of the True the Vote group.

Tom DeLay and the attempt to impeach Attorney General Holder

Back in August, my congresscritter, Pete Olson, announced at a town hall that he was planning on impeaching Attorney General Holder. No one paid any attention to Pete and no one believed that this plan had any chance of success. Boehner would be an idiot to let this get to the floor and there is no way that the Senate would vote to convict and remove AG Holder.

It seems that Pete has been hearing the same rumors that Juanita Jean has been hearing about Tom DeLay (the former holder of this seat) wanting to return to congress. http://www.juanitajean.com/2013/11/15/some-rumors/

No, seriously, my phone has been ringing like a bad handbell choir with people anxious to tell me that Tom is doing a Reunion Tour. He wants to go back to Congress. I saw him get handcuffed and hauled off myownself. I was there having a party the night before and the day after. I never wanted to see him again.

Okay, so Pete didn’t know he was a place holder and got to liking all the attention he gets as a congressman. If I’m hearing about Tom’s plans, you know that Pete is, too. So ….

Pete had decided to lead a movement to impeach Eric Holder. He got 20 other Republicans to sign on with him, 8 from Texas. Yeah, his desk would have gotten at least 26. Furniture. Bless his heart.

Now we have 99 problems in my congressional district, and maybe Eric Holder is one of them, I dunno, but even if he is, he’s gotta be like 96 or 97 on the list.

Pete Olson needs headlines to beat Tom DeLay. So, Holy Crap!, watch Mr. Placeholder become Louie Gohmert, Jr.

I swear that my congressional district is snakebit. Somebody throw some chlorine in the hot tub – Tom is back.

Every business venture pursued by DeLay since he left or was forced out of congress has been a flop. DeLay was horrible on the dancing program. Getting back to congress is the only way that DeLay can get attention and evidently the local GOP types like DeLay.

New Voter Id lawsuit

A new voter id lawsuit was filed November 5, 2013 in Federal Court in Corpus Christi. http://txredistricting.org/post/66800246419/south-texas-voters-file-new-suit-over-voter-id-law This lawsuit has several plaintiffs who were born on ranches with no doctor present and who do not have the funds to pay $47 for a delayed birth certificate. This lawsuit includes a number of plaintiffs who not eligible to vote by mail but who do not have birth certificates or whose births were not witnessed by a doctor and who would have to pay extra for a delayed birth certificate. A copy of the pleading is set forth below https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxeOfQQnUr_gaTMtQjZnLXFTbVU/edit?usp=sharing&pli=1

In addition, to the Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act claim, this petition contains some claims under the Texas constitution that are not in the other cases. The relevant sections being cited are:

Sec. 3. EQUAL RIGHTS. All free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services.

Sec. 3a. EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW. Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin. This amendment is self-operative.

I am a little worried in that Article 6 Section 4 of the Texas Constitution has some language that could hurt these claims:

Sec. 4. ELECTIONS BY BALLOT; NUMBERING, FRAUD, AND PURITY OF ELECTIONS; REGISTRATION OF VOTERS. In all elections by the people, the vote shall be by ballot, and the Legislature shall provide for the numbering of tickets and make such other regulations as may be necessary to detect and punish fraud and preserve the purity of the ballot box; and the Legislature shall provide by law for the registration of all voters.

The Texas Constitutional claims will have to deal with above language in that Abbott will claim that the Texas voter id law is necessary for purity of the ballot box.

In theory, the plaintiffs in this case who are not able to vote may be able to request some form of injunctive relief to avoid being disenfranchised during the 2014 general elections. Otherwise, there is a significant chance that the court will not rule on the voter is law until after the 2014 election. In fact, the DOJ may be wanting to get data from the 2014 election. http://www.fairelectionsnetwork.com/blog/three-strategies-so-far-strike-down-strict-voter-id-laws-under-section-2-voting-rights-act

The Veasey lawyers want a trial date before the midterm elections next November, and DOJ wants a trial after that election in early 2015. This seemingly mundane scheduling dispute actually says a great deal about DOJ’s developing strategy for proving Texas stands in violation of the Voting Rights Act…..

…..DOJ seems to be angling for, as a way to harvest evidence of any racially disparate impact from actual election results. The 2010 Census demonstrated that one-third of Texas’s voting-age population is Hispanic and 11.6 percent African-American. In arguing for a 2015 trial date, it seems that at least part of DOJ’s strategy will be to try and introduce evidence on the relative percentages of rejected provisional ballots by minority and majority voters.

I feel that we have better plan on having to deal with the Texas voter id law for both the primaries and the upcoming 2014 general election. I hope that I am wrong here.

Crap. The trial for the voter id case may not take place until after 2014 elections

This may well mean that the Texas voter id law will be in effect for the 2-14 elecitons. http://txredistricting.org/post/66123340534/disagreement-on-whether-trial-in-texas-voter-id-case

The major division centered around how long it would take to get the case ready for trial - with DOJ and the State of Texas each proposing schedules that would set trial in the case for March 2015.

However, the Veasey plaintiffs told the court that a 2015 was too late because it would come after the November 2014 elections:

The Veasey plaintiffs propose a schedule that - unlike the other parties’ schedule - would provide an opportunity for plaintiffs to obtain relief on behalf of Texas voters in time for the November 2014 elections, the first major turnout elections in which Texas seeks to enforce the Voter ID law. The Veasey plaintiffs believe it is critically important to obtain a decision on SB 14’s validity before, not after, the first major elections, and they further believe it is feasible for the parties and the Court to have a trial on such a schedule.

Instead, under the Veasey plaintiffs schedule, the court would hold trial in September 2014.

DOJ told the court, however, that a limited period of discovery after the 2014 election would let evidence from that election be considered at trial. DOJ also argued that the need for extensive database discovery and other discovery issues would make it hard to try the case before the 2014 election.

This means that we need to plan on having to deal with voter id in the 2014 general election
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