The Brief: Lawyers Prepping for Religious Freedom Battles

Pamela Holwerds holds up her marriage license following the ceremony that married over 40 same-sex couples on the south lawn of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on July 4, 2015. (Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune)
Pamela Holwerds holds up her marriage license following the ceremony that married over 40 same-sex couples on the south lawn of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on July 4, 2015. (Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune)

With same-sex marriage now legalized, conservative lawyers are beginning to prepare defenses for government employees who refuse to marry same-sex couples due to their religious objections.

Lawyers Prep to Defend Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage

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.