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The Evening Brief: March 26, 2012

Your evening reading: Straus' primary opponent wins endorsement of national Tea Party group; Abbott, in Washington for health care case, calls Obama administration's arguments inconsistent; Paul predicts Supreme Court will uphold individual mandate

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Culled:

  • Straus’ opponent wins national tea party endorsement (Austin American-Statesman): "The primary opponent of House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has won that backing of a national tea party heavyweight. Former Texas Congressman Dick Armey, who is chairman of the tea party-group FreedomWorks, will endorse Matt Beebe on Tuesday. Beebe is facing an uphill battle in challenging Straus, who has represented the Bexar County district since 2005 and has a considerable fund-raising advantage."
  • Justices joust over ObamaCare; AG Greg Abbott says it’s ‘a preliminary’ before big fight (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is in Washington for all three days of oral arguments in the health-care case, was happy to see the justices eager to sidestep the tax issue. 'It’s so important that everyone across the entire country know whether (the law) is constitutional or unconstitutional at this time, as opposed to having to wait to have the tax imposed, pay the tax and then challenge the issue,’ Abbott said outside the court after Monday’s argument concluded. … 'Congress did have authority under the (Constitution’s) 'tax and spend' clause to impose something like Obamacare, but they chose not to do that,’' Abbott said. 'So today they argued that Obamacare did not impose a tax; tomorrow the same lawyers will be back in court arguing it is a tax.'"
  • Ron Paul on Supreme Court healthcare case: ‘I suspect they're going to rule it constitutional’ (The Hill): "Ron Paul on Monday said that his 'big guess' about the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the controversial healthcare reform bill is that it will uphold the law. … 'I suspect they're going to rule it constitutional, but that is a big guess out of thin air,' Ron Paul said on Bloomberg Television. He said “this Supreme Court is slightly better than in the past, [but] they haven't done a real good job in defending the free market and the original intent of the Interstate Commerce Clause.'"

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Civil Law: The Fight That Never Ends: "What started with a notebook full of proposed changes to civil law in Texas has become a permanent fight between seemingly permanent institutions."

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