Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune

Tamir Kalifa/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling.

Erik Hersman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mallika Das, a U.S. citizen who was born in India, walked into a Williamson County polling place in 2014 eager to cast her ballot. 

Because she was not proficient in English and had found it difficult to vote in the past, Das brought her son, Saurabh, to help her. They both spoke Bengali, an Asian dialect. But when Saurabh told poll workers he was there to interpret the English ballot for his mother, the duo ran into an unexpected requirement.

Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS

Texas could be on the hook for more than $4.5 million as part of its failed legal battle to defend its 2013 abortion restrictions, which the U.S. Supreme struck down as unconstitutional in June.

Callie Richmond/Texas Tribune

Texas' rate of uninsured people fell to 17.1 percent in 2015 as part of a steady decline in the share of uninsured residents following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to new Census estimates released Tuesday.

The state's rate of uninsured fell two percentage points from 2014 to 2015, but Texas still has the highest percentage of people without health insurance in the country. Texas is also home to the largest number of uninsured people in the country with about 4.6 million uninsured residents. 

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Ramping up its fight over the rights of transgender people, Texas is expected to file a lawsuit 

Tuesday against the federal government over a regulation prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals in some health programs. 

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

FORT WORTH — Despite the state's request for an expedited ruling, a federal judge took no action Friday on a request to block the Obama administration's guidelines to accommodate transgender students.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor did not issue a ruling from the bench after an almost two-hour long hearing during which state attorneys — as part of a Texas-led, 13-state effort to block the guidelines — argued they unconstitutionally “hold a gun to the head” of states and school districts.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Health care providers, funeral operators and women's rights activists on Thursday are expected to tell Texas health officials that a rule requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will do little to improve public health and could be burdensome to women who miscarry and those seeking abortions.  

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

After undergoing mediation, the state of Texas has reached an agreement with undocumented families in a lawsuit over its denial to issue birth certificates to children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

In a new effort to regulate abortion providers, Texas health officials are proposing rules that would require abortion providers to cremate or bury fetal remains.

The new rules, proposed by the Health and Human Services Commission, would no longer allow abortion providers to dispose of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, instead allowing only cremation or interment of all remains — regardless of the period of gestation. Abortion providers currently use third-party special waste disposal services.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

On its face, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Texas' far-reaching abortion law seems clear: House Bill 2 is unconstitutional. But the implications might not be as straightforward. Here are five things you need to know to understand the landmark ruling. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Via the Texas Tribune:  

Texas on Thursday lost its fight against the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state, ending a months-long battle during which refugees from the war-torn country continued to arrive.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From the Texas Tribune: In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark June ruling that same-sex marriage is protected by the U.S. Constitution, the state’s highest civil court dismissed Paxton’s request as moot.

The case dates back to February 2015 when Austin residents Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant were legally wed after obtaining a marriage license from the Travis County clerk under direction from state District Judge David Wahlberg.

The Texas Tribune

During oral arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the constitutionality of Texas’ abortion restrictions, U.S. Supreme Court justices focused on what role the rules played in closing dozens of clinics, and probed the state’s justifications for the law.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

The next Texas legislative session is almost a year away, but Senate Republicans are already zeroing in on proposals to bolster legal protections for religious opponents of same-sex marriage after its legalization by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

At a hearing of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, some Republicans appeared to endorse a piecemeal approach to passing legislation shielding religious objectors to same-sex marriage instead of pushing for more comprehensive state constitutional amendments like Indiana’s embattled “religious freedom” law


Marjorie Kamys Cotera for the Texas Tribune

A federal judge has again denied a bid by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to block the federal government from resettling Syrian refugees in the state.

Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey on Monday rejected Paxton’s request for a preliminary injunction to bar the Syrian refugees, dealing another blow to Gov. Greg Abbott’s vow — made in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 dead — to keep people fleeing the war-torn country out of Texas. 

Jacob Villanueva/Texas Tribune

A Harris County grand jury on Monday indicted the videographers behind undercover recordings of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston and cleared the women's health provider of any wrongdoing.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman/TexasTribune

From the Texas Tribune: Intervening in what could be a landmark decision, the Obama Administration, state and federal lawmakers and medical experts asked the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to overturn Texas’ 2013 abortion law, which could shut down about half of the state’s 19 remaining abortion clinics.

In 45 amicus briefs filed to the Supreme Court, opponents of the Texas abortion law known as House Bill 2 argued that restrictions under the law are unconstitutional because they impose an undue burden on women seeking abortions and would do little to improve women’s health.


Todd Wiseman/Callie Richmond via Texas Tribune

Underage Texas women seeking abortions without their parents' consent will face a tougher set of legal hurdles in the new year.

State law already requires minors — those under age 18 — to get sign-off from at least one parent before receiving an abortion, unless doing so could put the young woman in danger of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In those cases, a judge can be asked to approve the procedure.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s second attempt to immediately block the arrival of additional Syrian refugees was even shorter-lived than the first.

Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey on Wednesday rejected Paxton’s renewed request for a temporary restraining order barring nine Syrian refugees set to arrive in the stateon Thursday. Godbey’s ruling came just hours after Paxton asked for the order, citing security concerns raised by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, and Robert Bodisch, the deputy director of homeland security at the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Pu Ying Huang/KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: The state of Texas is renewing its effort to immediately block the arrival of additional Syrian refugees, asking a federal court for a temporary restraining order barring nine Syrian refugees set to arrive in the state on Thursday.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to temporarily bar the refugees, citing security concerns raised by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, and the state’s deputy director of homeland security.

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