Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Where Are Perry's Emergency Items?

With fewer than five weeks left in the regular session, none of Gov. Rick Perry's emergency items — voter ID, sanctuary cities, sonograms for women getting abortions, a federal balanced budget amendment, and eminent domain protection — have made it to his desk. 

Full Story 
flickr.com/photos/dborman2

Sell It Like It Is

Republican leaders in the Texas Legislature are insisting that it will be a no-new-taxes session. In response, one Democratic lawmaker is pushing to expand the definition of the word "taxes" to include fees. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports. Full Story 
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Sued Into Silence

Plaintiffs in so-called strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs, use the court system to bury opponents in a crush of legal fees and paperwork of Bleak House proportions. They're not concerned about winning damages. They usually don’t expect to be successful, and the targets often don’t have the money to adequately defend themselves. Yet in otherwise tort-reform-happy Texas, there is no prohibition on filing this particular form of meritless suit — yet.

Full Story 
iStockphoto

Odor in the Court

Even if 84 percent of Americans believe judges should not hear cases from major campaign contributors, the big Texas law firms that have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to them over the last ten years see nothing wrong with business as usual.

Full Story