texas supreme court

Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled bans on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. But as much of a landmark case as that was, some say it left an open interpretation of that right and its associated rights.

Top Texas officials filed an amicus brief last Thursday with the Texas Supreme Court, asking judges to reconsider a Houston lawsuit from early September. At the heart of the case is whether the affirmation of same-sex marriage across the country also compels public employers to extend benefits to married same-sex couples.

 


Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said this week, "Eight, as you know, is not a good number for a multi-member court."

To wit: Texans are waiting for a Supreme Court decision over state abortion restrictions this session, but the court isn’t at full-strength after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. This raises the possibility of a potential stalemate. And a tie among the highest court in the country doesn't get a do-over – it just means the lower court ruling stands.


Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

About a year ago, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett posted a haiku on Twitter:

Who would the Donald/Name to #SCOTUS? The mind/reels. *weeps — can't finish tweet*

Maybe those were tears of joy. 

Flickr/Charles Wagner (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It's here: A long-awaited decision from the Texas Supreme Court on how schools are funded. The plaintiffs are two-thirds of the state's school districts, charter schools and even business interests, all claiming that the Texas way of financing education is so inefficient as to be unconstitutional.

Now the state's highest court has handed down its opinion.

Kate McGee, education reporter for KUT in Austin, says the court ruled the state's school finance system isn't unconstitutional. The court's opinions – three concurring opinions with no dissents – say the system "satisfies minimal requirements," reversing a lower court's decision that the state's school finance is so bad as to be illegal.


ffion atkinson/flickr

Nothing puts the brakes on Austin drivers like winter weather. In a freeze last year, emergency services responded to more than 250 accidents, none of which were fatal, in one day. While the late starts at schools and offices across the city this morning preempted a slew of pileups, drivers in North Texas could see as much as four inches of snow from a cold snap that’s expected to last until tomorrow morning.

Suffice to say, there are sure to be a few accidents in Texas over the next few days, but, snow or no, a recent ruling from the Texas Supreme Court could affect court cases handling everything from fender benders to fatal accidents to faulty airbag lawsuits in courts.

Frank Swift for Texas Tribune

Robert Kinney says his former boss wrote false and defamatory things about him online, and he wants the state's highest civil court to order the remarks be deleted.

In a case that could have far-reaching effects on individual freedom to post online, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments from both sides on Thursday about whether the Texas Constitution allows the court to force Kinney's former boss to unpublish negative postings about his former employee.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Can you put a price tag on man’s best friend?

The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday morning in a case that could answer that question.  An animal shelter employee is appealing a lower court’s ruling that found her accidental euthanasia of a family dog gave the pet’s owners grounds to recover damages related to the dog’s “sentimental or intrinsic value.”

Bob Daemmrich via Texas Tribune

Jeff Boyd, chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry, is the governor’s choice for an open spot on theTexas Supreme Court.

Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT News

Did you see the Space Shuttle Endeavor fly over Austin this morning? Send us a picture to news@kut.org. Here's a look at what else is happening in the area:

Central Texas Ozone Watch

The Clean Air Force of Central Texas is predicting “Level Orange” ozone levels for today. The areas affected by this Ozone Watch include Hays, Travis, Williamson, Caldwell and Bastrop Counties.

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Index, Austin’s air quality is currently “good."

Individuals with chronic lung disease, the elderly and young children are particularly sensitive to ground-level ozone. They should attempt to avoid exposure by minimizing exertion outdoors today.

The Clean Air Force of Central Texas encourages everyone to reduce air pollution by carpooling or riding the bus, tuning up vehicles and waiting to refuel until after 6 p.m.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Resigns

A Texas Supreme Court Justice is resigning and will go into private law practice in Austin.

Photo courtesy usgs.gov

The perennial issue of Texas water rights may soon reach a boiling point.

Today, the Texas Supreme Court handed down a ruling stating property owners can be compensated for water underneath their property, if a limit has been placed on the amount they can pump by a water authority.

KUT’s Mose Buchele, reporting for StateImpact Texas, writes: