28-year reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. Legal issues, politics and more. Father of 2, husband of 1, fool for poker.
Federal appeals court upholds Texas' winner-take-all system of allocating electoral votes for president: #txlege statesman.com/news/20200226/…
BREAKING: 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses lawsuit by LULAC, others that challenged Texas' winner-take-all method for allocating electoral votes for president as a violation of the one-person/one-vote standard. Ruling: ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/1…
Appeals court upholds murder conviction in Cedar Park strangling statesman.com/news/20200226/…
Texas, 38 other states launch probe into Juul vaping claims, marketing statesman.com/news/20200225/…
RT @SCOTUSblog: #SCOTUS rules 5-4 in Hernandez v. Mesa that the family of a Mexican teenager who was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent i…
RT @AutulloAAS: BREAKING: former University of Texas tennis coach Michael Center sentenced to six months in prison for accepting $100,000 t…
RT @NelsonForTexas: Fun Fact 1: More people *already* have voted early in the Texas Democratic primary than the total vote in the 2020 Iowa…
US Supreme Court rejects Reed appeal, but Justice Sotomayor notes 'pall of uncertainty' over guilt: statesman.com/news/20200224/…
More Sotomayor: "That means that the Texas courts will now consider on the merits — for the first time in Reed’s decades-long effort to prove his innocence — whether Reed is indeed innocent of murdering Stacey Lee Stites."
Sotomayor also sends a little message to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which stayed Reed's execution in November to examine claims of innocence: https://t.co/BOJFQr1THc
Sotomayor's statement begins on page 38 of today's orders: supremecourt.gov/orders/courtor…
US Supreme Court denies Rodney Reed appeal. But Justice Sotomayor writes separately to say Reed has presented substantial evidence casting doubt on his conviction, death sentence. More important: "In my view, there is no escaping the pall of uncertainty over Reed’s conviction."
RT @AutulloAAS: TODAY: ex-University of Texas tennis coach Michael Center will be sentenced in federal court in Massachusetts for accepting…
State Commission on Judicial Conduct gives a public warning to County Court-at-Law Judge Randy Gray of New Braunfels for threatening jail time for a defendant who withdrew from a plea bargain to exercise his right to a jury trial. scjc.texas.gov/media/46786/gr…
State District Judge Darlene Byrne is pitting her 19 years of judicial experience against prominent defense lawyer Keith Hampton in the Democratic primary for chief justice of the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals: statesman.com/news/20200221/…
Today, the US Supreme Court is reviewing death row inmate Rodney Reed's appeal, the 8th time it's been listed for #SCOTUS conference. Reed got a stay of execution in November from the Tx Court of Criminal Appeals. Our stories: statesman.com/topics/rodney%…
Court rejects bridal shop's argument that it didn't need to supply an expert report because the rule applied to patients who died or were injured, not to a shop doing business in another state.
Court says the bridal shop's lawsuit was a health-care-liability claim that required an expert medical report detailing the allegations. Ruling: txcourts.gov/media/1445849/…
In the Dallas "Ebola nurse" case, Texas Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit from Ohio bridal shop that closed after the nurse visited. Shop tried to sue the hospital that had assured staff that it was safe to travel after treating an Ebola patient. Background: statesman.com/news/20190711/…
RT @nicolecobler: Exclusive: Carrie Isaac, a candidate running in #TX45, regularly touts her leadership of a nonprofit that helps disabled…
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez says he's still weighing a bid for Watson's Senate seat: "After the Governor calls a special election, and after the March 3 primary, I will be making an announcement regarding my future. Stay tuned." #txlege
Donna Howard, Celia Israel pass on joining the race to replace Kirk Watson in the Texas Senate, removing two potentially formidable opponents from a special election that has drawn high interest: #txlege statesman.com/news/20200220/…
RT @VirtualCapitol: Weekend with Bernie: Sanders in Texas for four rallies ending in Austin statesman.com/news/20200220/…
RT @DonnaHowardTX: "After... talking with my family and valued members of our community... I am re-energized with an even greater commitmen…
Donna Howard would've been a formidable Senate candidate, having built up a ton of goodwill with local Democrats. Celia Israel's decision is significant too. We'll see if their decisions spur more to consider a run, or if support will coalesce around some of the others. #txlege
Other Austin House Dems: Rep. Celia Israel will not run. Rep. Eddie Rodriguez considering. Rep. Gina Hinojosa considering. Rep. Sheryl Cole will not run.
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, will NOT enter special election for Watson seat: "Ultimately, I am re-energized with an even greater commitment to building on the progress we've been able to make in the House of Representatives." #txlege
RT @KirkPWatson: Yet another strong candidate “seriously considering” running for #SD14. #BabyYoda #txlege https://t.co/J3D24NJE4k
Rep. Israel says her choice to not enter the special election was mainly influenced by her leadership role in trying to flip the Texas House blue: "I feel that's my lane in 2020." #txlege
Rudy Metayer, a member of the Pflugerville City Council, says he is looking into running in the special election (not yet scheduled) for Sen. Kirk Watson's seat. #txlege
Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, says she will not run for Sen. Kirk Watson's seat. #txlege
Add Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, to those looking into (not yet scheduled) special election for Sen. Kirk Watson's seat: "Today, we look towards a future with new leadership that represents our values. As such, I am seriously considering running for the Texas Senate." #txlege
Everytown for Gun Safety vows $8 million in Texas campaign spending this year, targeting 21 GOP seats in the Texas House (and supporting 6 Democrats). Also plans to get involved in races for US House: #txlege statesman.com/news/20200219/…
RT @kherman: New Texas endorsements for Bloomberg, including longtime state Rep. Raymond, who's now a state co-chair. https://t.co/A8SeVh4A…
RT @MattMackowiak: @GabrielNila @chucklindell We will need someone who can raise at least $200,000 to win.
State Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, also is weighing whether to join the race to replace Watson in the Senate: "I've had a lot of people contact me and ask me to consider it, and I'm weighing my options." #txlege
RT @AndrovettLegal: #Texasprimary: Ruling allowing criminal case against former Gov. Rick Perry to proceed brought up in Texas Court of Cri…
RT @DonnaHowardTX: Will definitely miss @KirkPWatson in the #txlege but congratulate him on this great opportunity! My statement: https://t…
Austin personal injury lawyer and Democratic donor Adam Loewy says he is looking into running for Watson's seat: "I think it's extremely important that people from the private sector get involved with the Legislature." #txlege
RT @AdamLoewyATX: Adam Loewy also on the list. 🙋🏻‍♂️ twitter.com/chucklindell/s…
There is a strong vibe of -- let's let Kirk Watson have his day, and the politicking can get started tomorrow. Expect the list of confirmed candidates to develop starting Wednesday. #txlege
Race to replace Kirk Watson is underway ... with the list (as of now) of those considering throwing their hats in the special election ring: #txlege statesman.com/news/20200218/…
Put Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, in the "strongly considering" column for a special election to replace Sen. Watson. #txlege
State Rep. Sheryl Cole, D-Austin, is not interested in running in the special election for Watson's seat. #txlege
Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt tweets that she is thinking about entering special election. https://t.co/89ce0CRBkT
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, the longest-serving House Democrat from Austin, did not discuss his plans in a statement that praised Watson as his longtime mentor. "Kirk’s role in molding the next generation of public policy leaders gives me more hope than I can express."
Republicans have taken notice: "I have not yet heard any names on our side, but I do expect that we’ll have a strong person step up and run for the seat, and we’ll work hard on that,” said Matt Mackowiak, chairman of the Travis County GOP.
State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, said she’s been asked to run but added that it was too early to discuss a potential campaign: “I'm absorbing the news and all its ramifications."
Immigration lawyer Chito Vela III, who lost a close Democratic primary runoff to state Rep. Sheryl Cole of Austin in 2018: “I really appreciate the outpouring of support encouraging me to run and will be making a decision shortly.”
Austin City Council Member Greg Casar said he is “very strongly considering” running for the Senate: “I think we need a senator from Travis County who brings really strong progressive values to the office."
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, plans to discuss it with family, friends and — significantly — other House Democrats from Austin. “No decision at this point, but lots to consider,” she said, adding that Watson will be “a hard act to follow.”
Where we stand in the race to replace Sen. Kirk Watson ... a (still developing) thread: #txlege
Watson thanks his family, saying he could have accomplished nothing without their help and support. Also says becoming the first dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs means a lot to someone who's been deeply interested in higher education. #txlege https://t.co/fU7hHWU1Fn
"I've had an interesting morning. I never thought I'd make it to the 18th without it breaking," Sen. Watson says at the start of a news conference at the Capitol. #txlege https://t.co/XxorwcNdw3
RT @KirkPWatson: It's a great honor to be named Founding Dean of a public policy school that bears the name of former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby.…
And this should go without saying, but if you're considering a run for a rare open Texas Senate seat, I'm at clindell@statesman.com #txlege
RT @KirkPWatson: I'm accepting an extraordinary opportunity to be Founding Dean of the @UHouston Hobby School of Public Affairs. So today I…
Sen. Watson informed local Democratic House members about his coming resignation via conference call early this morning. Next wave of announcements? #txlege
Kirk Watson to resign from Texas Senate for job in academia -- you want the #txlege details -- here they are: statesman.com/news/20200218/…
BREAKING: Kirk Watson, D-Austin, will resign from the Texas Senate, effective midnight April 30, to become the first dean of University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs. #txlege https://t.co/r4ryXX0vaN
RT @JohnBridges: A shocking stat on Austin's homeless crisis in @kbrad5's report in today's @statesman: 19 homeless pedestrians were killed…
However, appeals court says sentencing enhancement for images that are sadistic or masochistic should not have been applied because no children were involved, sends back for new sentence.
5th Circuit Court rules that "morphed" child porn (pictures of real kids' faces superimposed on adult bodies) is NOT protected speech, and affirms Corpus Christi conviction. Ruling: ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/1…
Tx Supreme Court DECLINES appeal by Dallas County Dems over GOP lawsuit that challenged ballot applications of 100+ Democrats. Trial court tossed out the GOP lawsuit and awarded Dems attorney fees; appeals court overturned fee award, and now that ruling stands. https://t.co/AFVGtmCVLH
AG Ken Paxton asks US Supreme Court to block California's ban on state-paid travel to Texas: #txlege statesman.com/news/20200210/…
Read the unanimous opinion, including the court's effort to define riot (which isn't defined in the law), here: txcourts.gov/media/1445736/…
Can an inmate sue TDCJ for injuries from an outdoor tear gas shell fired indoors to break up an unruly gathering, and the guard later reprimanded? No, Texas Supreme Court says: State law does not waive gov't immunity for injuries from law enforcement efforts to control "riots."
Snow with light accumulation in north central Austin. #ewxspotter https://t.co/KZfRRZMdSR
Snow with light accumulation in north central Austin. #ewxspotter https://t.co/nmtJooNLpm
5th Circuit Court DENIES request for stay of execution for Abel Ochoa in shooting deaths of his wife, 2 children, father-in-law and sister-in-law. Execution set for tomorrow. Ruling: ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub… https://t.co/3KhYYDNicu
In solidarity with Iowa, I only did 62% of my work today too
RT @TexasDSHS: As of now, no #2019nCoV cases in Texas. What is in #Texas is the #flu. Two more child-flu deaths reported last week. Prote…
Setting tight deadlines, federal judge orders more data on potential voter registration fixes in Texas to comply with "motor voter" requirements: statesman.com/news/20200203/…
But US judge isn't done yet. He also orders Texas to start tracking how many people seek to register when they renew their DL. "Defendants' decision not to track, record, or preserve such information at this juncture, after four years of litigation, is concerning," he writes.
Then, both sides must send sworn declarations to the judge, with firm time estimate to comply with motor voter, by Monday.
Judge also ORDERS both sides to meet with tech specialists by Friday to learn how long it would take to get Texas in compliance with motor voter law so you can register to vote as you renew driver's license online.
Texas informs federal judge that they have complied with his order; all 3 Texans in lawsuit against state are registered to vote using info previously provided to DPS when they renewed their driver's license. Background: statesman.com/news/20200130/…
5 local House D's (Reps Howard, Israel, Hinojosa, Cole, Goodwin), in letter to Travis County DA Margaret Moore (also a Dem), cite "significant evidence" of innocence for Rosa Jimenez, ask justice/basic humanity to be protected. Background: statesman.com/news/20191029/…
RT @jamesrhenson: Data across nine polls since @RealDonaldTrump became president illustrates how uniformly the Texas GOP has become Trump'…
Texas in violation of voting law, US judge finds ... the story at: statesman.com/news/20200130/…
Bottom line basis for today's ruling -- Texas is violating the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 because Texans who renew their driver's license online cannot, at the same time, register to vote or update registration address. Story to come.
Judge says decision on other relief sought remains pending. Action on the 3 voters who sued must be finished before Monday's deadline to register to vote in the March primaries, he says.
It's a narrow order from Judge Garcia, who did not agree to another condition sought -- that DPS create a system within 60 days to mail voter registration application, filled out with voter name, address, etc, to be signed and mailed in.
In complaint that Texas is violating motor voter law requiring simultaneous voter registration for those updating/renewing driver's license, US judge sides with the 3 plaintiffs, orders them to be registered using info already provided to DPS. Background: statesman.com/news/20200128/…
It's 2020. If you're running for office and went thru the trouble of creating a campaign website ... that doesn't have a usable color headshot ... you flunk. https://t.co/QJ2hGnDVY5
RT @aasdanny: Kobe and Gianna mural on 29th and Guadalupe. https://t.co/jiYqBATAxm
Rep. Drew Springer asks Texas House committees to investigate TRS rent that starts at $326,000 a month in a high-end downtown Austin high rise "while continuing to raise costs on current and retired teachers." Letter: gallery.mailchimp.com/bd53f6de1debf5… Background: statesman.com/business/20200…
RT @PhilJankowski: Zilker Zephyr managers say Austin's tiny train is finished #ATXcouncil statesman.com/news/20200129/…
Full 5th Circuit Court declines to review 3-judge panel's ruling that found the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. Vote was requested by one of the judges. Link: ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/1… https://t.co/AqGFoP7yOY
RT @JohnBridges: Thanks to #txlege action to close Boeing loophole, Teacher Retirement System *finally* disclosed its base rent -- a cool $…
RT @EllyDearman: Congresswoman Veronica Escobar to deliver Democratic response to State of the Union address elpasotimes.com/story/news/pol… via @e…
RT @PhilJankowski: BREAKING: Low-level marijuana possession no longer enforced in Austin with #ATXcouncil vote. statesman.com/news/20200123/…
RT @PhilJankowski: BREAKING: The Austin City Council just ended the enforcement of low-level marijuana laws. #atxcouncil
If Democrats make gains in the 2020 elections, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick vows to change rules to limit their clout in the Texas Senate: #txlege statesman.com/news/20200123/…
The 21-vote requirement was a 64-year tradition before it was changed to 19 votes in 2015 during an early-session change to Texas Senate rules. #txlege
If Senate Republicans lose one or two seats in the 2020 elections, "we might have to go to simple majority" to bring bills to the floor, Patrick says. #txlege
Patrick pushed Senate to lower the longstanding threshold from 21 to 19 votes a couple sessions ago. He says the change was needed because Republicans had to go to Democrats "to get permission to bring bills to the floor." #txlege
 
 
 
 
 
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