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The Evening Brief: Aug. 23, 2013

Your evening reading: Cruz won't endorse Cornyn for re-election; transparency committee hires Hardin for impeachment investigation; Texas Supreme Court takes same-sex divorce cases

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•    Sen. Ted Cruz won’t endorse Sen. John Cornyn for reelection (The Dallas Morning News): "If Texas’ senior senator, John Cornyn, was hoping for an endorsement from Texas’ junior senator, Ted Cruz, he can forget it. Cruz said Friday afternoon he’s staying neutral as Cornyn seeks reelection next year. 'Sen. Cornyn is a good man. He is a friend. He and I have worked side by side on a great many issues fighting for Texas, fighting for conservative principles,' he said when asked about Cornyn’s campaign at a New Hampshire GOP fund-raiser. 'It is likely that I am going to stay out of incumbent primaries across the country, either supporting incumbents or opposing incumbents.'"

•    Texas Supreme Court takes same-sex divorce cases (Austin American-Statesman): "The Texas Supreme Court announced Friday that it will determine whether same-sex couples, legally married in other states, can be granted a divorce in Texas. The cases, involving couples from Austin and Dallas, will be the first test of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court determined this summer that marriage laws can be unconstitutional if they relegate legally married same-sex couples to second-class status."

•    Army Maj. Nidal Hasan guilty of murder for Fort Hood shootings (The Associated Press): "Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted Friday in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own who said he opened fire on fellow soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents abroad."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Transparency Committee Hires Hardin for Impeachment Probe: "For help with its ongoing investigation of Regent Wallace Hall, the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations has turned to prominent Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, who'll serve as its special counsel."

•    Cruz's Supporters Don't Question His Eligibility: "Liberal critics say Republicans who questioned Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president are hypocritical now that one of their own, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, is facing questions about his. Some Cruz supporters who questioned Obama's citizenship don't have the same concerns about the Canadian-born senator's eligibility for the nation's top office."

•    Exoneree, Still in Prison, Denied Compensation: "The Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion Friday denying compensation to Michael Blair, who was exonerated of murder charges in 2008, but is still serving time in prison for child sexual assault convictions."

•    Despite More Money, Fixing Shortage of Doctors Remains Difficult: "Texas lawmakers invested millions of new dollars in the 2013 legislative session to address a looming physician shortage, but the medical community remains concerned that Texas has no long-term solution."

•    New Law Aims to Protect TxDOT Road Workers: "Texas drivers will have to slow down or move over one lane when passing Texas Department of Transportation workers under a new law. This story is part of our monthlong 31 Days, 31 Ways series."

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