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The Brief: May 23, 2012

Attorney General Greg Abbott has relented on a major point of contention in the state's voter ID case.

Attorney General Greg Abbot on Jan. 31, 2011, speaking about Texas' lawsuit against federal health care reform.

The Big Conversation:

Attorney General Greg Abbott has relented on a major point of contention in the state's voter ID case.

As the Austin American-Statesman reports, Abbott has dropped his opposition to the U.S. Justice Department's request to depose state lawmakers who played an active role in passing the contentious voter ID law, which would require Texans to present a form of photo ID at the polls.

Earlier this year, Abbott's office called the Justice Department's request an "unwarranted federal intrusion into the operations of the Texas Legislature." The department, which is arguing against law, claimed that the depositions were crucial to determining whether the law disenfranchised minority voters, as its detractors allege. Accusations of stalling — from both sides — soon followed.

But as Abbott spokesman Jerry Strickland said in a statement, according to the Statesman: "In order to move the case forward without delay, the State agreed to allow depositions to proceed."

Abbott's move, as well as the department's recent confirmation that a federal district court in Washington, D.C., will hear the case in July, means the law could be in place for the November elections if the court rules in favor of the state.

But as Strickland added, echoing previous arguments made by the state: "We will continue to object to any questions that solicit privileged information from legislators. The court has recognized the existence of the legislative privilege and will rule on our objections in the future."


  • Only 36 percent of Texans think candidates for office should make anti-tax pledges like the one recently promoted by Gov. Rick Perry, while 47 percent think they shouldn't, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Sixty percent of Tea Party supporters and 48 percent of Republicans support such pledges, while 70 percent of Democrats oppose them.
  • Mitt Romney will visit Texas for two days next month to fundraise, The Dallas Morning News reports. The likely Republican nominee will travel to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio for private events.
  • Ted Cruz and Tom Leppert, vying for a spot in a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, released new ads on Tuesday. Cruz's ad, called "Fighter," touts Cruz's background and work as solicitor general of Texas, while Leppert's, called "Choice," resembles his previous ad, depicting Dewhurst and Cruz as, literally, empty suits.

“One of my great concerns about this upcoming election [is] we have individuals who are running in Republican primaries who do not have pro-life positions."Rick Perry in a conference call Tuesday with the Texas Right to Life PAC


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