The Brief: Top Texas News for May 8, 2012

The Big Conversation:

The state's voter ID law may not see the light of day this year.

As the Tribune's Julián Aguilar reports, a federal district court said Monday that the law will probably not be in place by the November elections unless the state turns over certain documents by Wednesday.

The court ruled that Texas has effectively stalled the delivery of key data that the Justice Department — which is challenging the law — has requested for the trial.

“Rather than engaging in expedited discovery consistent with its stated goal, Texas has taken steps that can only be interpreted as having the aim of delaying Defendants’ ability to receive and analyze data and documents in a timely fashion,” said the court order, echoing recent Justice Department complaints.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office responded Monday that the department, not the state, has slowed proceedings.

"In an ongoing effort to prevent Texas from enforcing its Voter ID law during the November election, the DOJ and partisans who oppose the Voter ID law, have issued endless discovery requests seeking millions of records that have nothing to do with this case," Abbott's office said in a statement. "The State has already produced roughly 25,000 pages of information and millions of records from State databases."

The court said the state had until Wednesday to produce the documents — which include information the Justice Department says will show the law disenfranchises minorities — as well as state legislators involved in the bill's passage who have been subpoenaed. Abbott has called the effort to depose those legislators a "fishing expedition."

Culled:

  • The race to succeed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, which has so far remained under the radar, has gone public with the release a vicious email exchange between two possible candidates for the position. In the exchange, originally obtained by the Quorum Report, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, accused Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, of spreading rumors that Patrick and his wife were splitting. "He can say anything he wants to about me, but saying that Jan and I are separated and may get a divorce is not fair to her or my family," Patrick wrote in an email to all of his Senate colleagues. Carona responded with an angry denial that included gossip about Patrick's sexual orientation. If Dewhurst wins the U.S. Senate race, the state Senate will elevate one of its own members to serve out the rest of Dewhurst's term. 
  • Gov. Rick Perry on Monday in a letter urged the Obama administration to address the "humanitarian crisis" caused by what media reports have recently deemed the record number of illegal-immigrant minors crossing from Mexico into the U.S. “By failing to take immediate action to return these minors to their countries of origin and prevent and discourage others from coming here, the federal government is perpetuating the problem,” Perry wrote, adding, "This must stop, Mr. President, and it is your responsibility to make that happen."
  • The Dallas Morning News' editorial board has endorsed Taj Clayton, a 35-year-old DeSoto lawyer, over 20-year incumbent Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, in the heated Democratic primary for Congressional District 30. Citing Johnson's "seeming lack of remorse" over the 2010 scandal in which she granted Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships to four relatives and two children of a top aide, the endorsement says Clayton "not only grasps the deep economic challenges facing the 30th District but also ways to work the Capitol Hill system to create jobs and business opportunities for his constituents."

"Because it is critical to defeat Barack Obama in November, Ted will enthusiastically support the Republican nominee."Ted Cruz campaign manager John Drogin on whether Cruz would endorse Ron Paul, who voiced his support for Cruz at a Tea Party rally on Sunday

Must-Read:

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