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The Evening Brief: March 27, 2012

Your evening reading: Texas Republicans pleased with Supreme Court's questioning of health care law; Democrats slam Romney ahead of Texas visit; could Trayvon Martin-like case happen in Texas?

Attorney General Greg Abbott at a press conference after the ceremonial bill signing of human trafficking legislation on May 25, 2011.


  • Texas Republicans exult after Day 2 of Supreme Court health care arguments (Houston Chronicle): "A delegation of Texas Republican elected officials was pleased that the Supreme Court’s five-justice conservative majority on Tuesday took a dim view of the Obama administration’s signature health care law, the one they all call 'Obamacare.' 'We knew that if we could get the court to agree to focus (on how the law) infringed on individual liberty, we had chance of winning,' said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who attended the second day of three days’ worth of oral arguments on the law. 'We were pleased to walk out of the courtroom today knowing that five justices of the United States Supreme Court focused their powerful questions against the U.S. government on that very issue, and that’s the unprecedented encroachment Obamacare imposes on individual liberty.'"
  • Justices Have Hard Questions on Insurance Requirement (The New York Times): "With the fate of President Obama’s health care law hanging in the balance at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a lawyer for the administration faced a barrage of skeptical questions from four of the court’s more conservative justices."
  • "Proper Texas welcome" for Mitt Romney? (Fort Worth Star-Telegram): "Some Democratic leaders participated in a conference call Tuesday to give Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney a 'proper Texas welcome' before he arrives here tomorrow on a fundraising trip. Romney initially planned to attend a noon fundraiser in Fort Worth Wednesday but ended up combining the event with an evening gathering in Dallas because of time constraints. 'Mitt Romney has repeatedly proven he'll do and say anything to get elected,' said state Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio. 'He's locked himself into extreme positions and Republicans have (cut their chances) of making inroads with the Latino population.'"
  • Court sets July 9 trial date in Texas voter ID case (Texas Redistricting): "The D.C. district court has set trial in Texas’ voter ID suit for July 9-13. That’s nearly three weeks earlier than requested by the Justice Department and intervenors. However, the court also directed that issues related to the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act be bifurcated from the main trial and said that those issues would 'not be addressed unless the Court denies judicial preclearance of Senate Bill [14].'"
  • Barton and Burgess say they will stand by Gingrich till the end (The Dallas Morning News): "Despite mounting pressure on Newt Gingrich to withdraw from the GOP presidential race, his backers in the Texas congressional delegation are sticking by the former House speaker. Reps. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, and Joe Barton, R-Arlington, both said this week that they will support Gingrich for as long as he is in the race."

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Sunset Report Faults Student Loan Program: "In fiscal 2011, more than $32 million of funding set aside for the B-On-Time Loan Program — more than one-third of the program’s total funding — never reached Texas students. That’s one of the more eye-popping findings of the Sunset Advisory Commission’s new report on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board."

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