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The Evening Brief: Aug. 13, 2012

Your evening reading: Perry reasserts support for gun rights after shooting near A&M; Obama administration backs UT's admissions policy; appeals court sides with Texas in its fight against EPA

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•   After Texas A&M shooting, Perry backs gun rights (Politico): "Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Monday defended gun rights as police investigated a deadly shooting near Texas A&M University, saying firearms issues should be addressed by states and that he doesn’t think 'taking guns away from law-abiding citizens' would make the country after. 'When it gets back to this issue of taking guns away from law abiding citizens and somehow know that’s going to make our country safer, it’s just I don’t agree with that,' Perry, who noted he didn’t have all the details of the shootings, said on Fox News while sitting next to Florida Governor Rick Scott."

•   Justice: UT affirmative action policy legal (The Associated Press): "The Obama administration on Monday threw its support behind the University of Texas' use of race as a standard in its admissions policies, asking the Supreme Court not to interfere with the consideration of racial preferences in college admissions."

•   Fielder drops Texas Senate bid (Austin American-Statesman): "Guy L. Fielder, the Republican nominee challenging Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson’s reelection bid, this afternoon said he has withdrawn from the race. Watson still faces Libertarian Ryan Dixon on the November general election ballot, but he already considered a shoo-in against two politically unknown candidates."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Texplainer: Could Canadian-Born Ted Cruz Be U.S. President?: "After Ted Cruz's win in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, his name is being thrown around as a future presidential candidate. But is the Canadian-born Cruz eligible to run for the United States' highest office?"

•   Court Faults EPA's Rejection of Flexible Permits Program: "The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency unfairly disapproved of a Texas permitting program for air emissions. The opinion says the EPA must further consider the program."

•   One Year Later, Revisiting Perry's Presidential Bid: "One year ago today, Gov. Rick Perry made national waves by jumping into the GOP race for the presidency, a bid that ended five months (and a few infamous debate debacles) later. Revisit our interactive timeline of the highs and lows of his run for the White House."

•   Long Shots Carry On Despite Stacked Deck: "Two-thirds of the candidates for Texas House don’t face major opposition in November. Thank redistricting, which protects politicians in those districts from the other party's voters. Only about a dozen races are truly competitive, in the sense that either party might win."

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