Former Texas governor and presidential contender gives his stump speech in Windham, New Hampshire on July 4. 2015.
Former Texas governor and presidential contender gives his stump speech in Windham, New Hampshire on July 4. 2015.

Amid Low Expectations, Perry Revels in Campaigning

After years in the political wilderness, Rick Perry relied on his trademark swagger while campaigning on the Fourth of July weekend in southern New Hampshire. Ever since his 2011 presidential campaign flameout, Perry's aim was to project a studious, learned image. But on this Independence Day parade route, the candidate who showed up was an extrovert, a flirt and a fist bumper.

 

Slideshow: Sworn on the 4th of July

Over 40 same-sex couples were married on Independence Day at the Texas State Capitol in what organizers billed as a "Big Gay Wedding" in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bans on such unions are unconstitutional.

Slideshow: Sworn on the 4th of July

Over 40 same-sex couples were married on Independence Day at the Texas State Capitol in what organizers billed as a "Big Gay Wedding" in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bans on such unions are unconstitutional.

 

The Brief: July 3, 2015

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's opening of its new building on April 21, 2015.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's opening of its new building on April 21, 2015.

Attorney General Ken Paxton's recent actions opposing same-sex marriage were just another example of how he's become a hero among social conservatives who helped elect him.

Conservative Lawyers Prepare to Defend Same-Sex Marriage Opponents

Dr. Sid Hall, Senior Pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church wears a rainbow pin on his lapel during HRS press conference at Texas Capitol June 29, 2015
Dr. Sid Hall, Senior Pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church wears a rainbow pin on his lapel during HRS press conference at Texas Capitol June 29, 2015

With Republican leaders vowing to protect the religious freedom of government officials who refuse to recognize same-sex marriages, here's a look at the legal arguments conservative attorneys plan to use to defend those officials in court. 

Texas Hopes to Attract More Mental Health Care Workers

Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.
Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.

Lawmakers this year created a program that will help pay mental health professionals’ student loans if they practice in a medically needy area. The loan forgiveness program seeks to alleviate the state’s shortage of mental health professionals, which watchdogs are calling a "public health emergency."

Despite Legal Woes, Paxton Emerges as Culture Warrior

TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015
TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, under scrutiny for his financial dealings, stayed out of sight and coasted into office last fall as part of the new Republican leadership. Now his legal troubles are back, just as he's emerging as the hero for social conservatives who fueled his candidacy.