The Big Conversation
On Thursday, the Obama administration filed notice that it will appeal a Texas judge’s ruling that blocks federal guidelines for transgender student bathroom use.
Fort Worth-based Judge Reed O’Connor affirmed Tuesday that his preliminary injunction against the transgender bathroom guidelines apply nationwide, not just in the 13 states that tried to block the federal ruling. Despite claims from opponents of the federal directive that the “status quo” should remain in place, the Obama administration says it is asking the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn O’Connor’s injunction.
As the Tribune’s Alexa Ura reports, O’Connor’s issued his original ruling in August on the same day that millions of Texas children headed back to school. However, the legal battle began in early May when the Obama administration said that discrimination against transgender students violated Title IX and that transgender students had the right to use their preferred bathrooms in public schools.
While Attorney General Ken Paxton has not immediately commented on the Obama administration’s appeal, he’s been at the forefront of the federal controversy. Citing concerns over the privacy and safety surrounding the use of school bathrooms, Paxton challenged the administration's guidelines in May, claiming that Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex but not gender identity.
Trib Must Reads
Hiding in Austin, a former El Salvador policeman seeks asylum, by Jay Root — After years of trying to help control El Salvador's violent gangs, the danger became too great for the former detective and his family.
Texans and the Trump effect (video), by Alana Rocha and Justin Dehn — In the Roundup: Donald Trump gave the American public a cliffhanger this week, declining to say whether he’ll accept the outcome of the election. Plus, Democrat Hillary Clinton buys airtime in reliably red Texas, and down-ballot candidates monitor the impact of having Trump at the top of the ticket.
Dukes resignation scrambles Austin state House race, by Alex Samuels — Eleven-term state Rep. Dawnna Dukes will probably win re-election in the heavily Democratic 46th House district, even though she's announced her retirement.
Analysis: Rising local school property taxes ease state budget woes, by Ross Ramsey — State officials would like to lower local school property taxes, but they've got a secret: Some of those local school tax revenues make it easier to balance a tight state budget.
Dan Patrick doubles down on school choice fight, by Patrick Svitek — Days after a House hearing in which lawmakers gave the issue skeptical treatment, Patrick made clear private school choice topped his list of legislative priorities.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expects "peaceful transition" in November, by Patrick Svitek — Donald Trump's top supporter in Texas said Thursday he expects a "peaceful transition" of power in November as the Republican presidential nominee continued to decline to say he would accept the outcome of the election.
5 times Trump and Clinton touched on Texas issues in the presidential debates, by Bobby Blanchard — Here are five moments from the back-and-forth at the presidential debates that highlight Texas issues.
Candidate abruptly rescinds polo match invite to lawmakers, by Edgar Walters — “Unfortunately you were provided with 4 tickets which were not intended for your office,” read the letter slipped under legislators’ doors.
After 2016, what's next for Texas' political parties? (podcast), by Jay Root and Ben Philpott — Ben Philpott and Jay Root hosted a pre-presidential debate edition of The Ticket at KLRU's historic studio 6A — where they went beyond the election to talk about what's next for Republicans and Democrats in Texas.
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
Texas Republican vows to hold in contempt a company tied to Clinton's private email server, The Dallas Morning News
Texas Republicans wary of Trump’s election ‘suspense’, San Antonio Express-News
Amid probe, Dawnna Dukes flew in lawyer before announcing retirement, Austin American-Statesman
Local Trump fans fear a 'rigged' election, too, Houston Chronicle
Collin County lawmakers wanted to intervene in Paxton's legal woes, text messages show, The Dallas Morning News
No ‘rigged’ outcome, election officials insist, San Antonio Express-News
Retail gasoline prices in Texas up a penny this week, Houston Chronicle
Under fire for missed checkups on kids, CPS chief asks to swiftly hire 550 new front-line workers, The Dallas Morning News
Quote to Note
"So tonight, let's embrace the spirit of the evening, let's come together, remember what unites us and just rip on Ted Cruz."
— Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during remarks at the Al Smith charity dinner Thursday night in Manhattan.
Today in TribTalk
Taking the long view on water conservation in Texas, by Mary Ann Dickinson, Megan Chery and Chelsea Hawkins: Conserving water is the key to keeping rates as low as possible over time.
News From Home
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Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation with U.S. Rep Michael McCaul on Oct. 25 at The Austin Club
• "Along Came Kinky" Screening and Conversation on Oct. 27 at the LBJ Library
• A Symposium on Transportation on Nov. 3 at Texas A&M University - Rudder Tower
• A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke on Nov. 4 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville
• A Conversation with Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University on Dec. 1 at The Austin Club
• San Antonio & the Legislature: A Preview of the 85th on Dec. 2 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus