January 9, 2012 |
The Supreme Court justices waded into an election-year political dispute from Texas, signaling they favor drawing the state's 36 congressional districts based largely on the plan adopted by its Republican-controlled Legislature. The court's leading conservatives said they were skeptical of allowing judges in San Antonio to put into effect their own statewide map that creates districts geared to electing Latinos. Texas has been put "at a tremendous disadvantage," said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, because the judges largely ignored the wishes of the Legislature.
August 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — A three-judge federal court threw out the Texas legislative districts drawn by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature, holding that they discriminated against Latinos and blacks and violated the Voting Rights Act. The decision, if upheld on appeal, will force Texas lawmakers to redraw the districts for Congress and the state Legislature so as to elect a greater number of minority legislators. The ruling will not affect the November elections, however. Earlier this year, federal judges in Texas drew an interim districting plan to be used this year only.
September 20, 2012 |
HOUSTON -- A former Dallas-area car wash employee on death row for killing two co-workers after he was fired in 2000 failed to get the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution Thursday. Robert Wayne Harris, 40, is to die at 6 p.m., Texas corrections officials said. He originally confessed to fatally shooting five people at the Mi-T-Fine car wash in Irving. He was charged in connection with all five deaths but tried in only two. His attorney argued in two petitions to the Supreme Court that Harris should not be executed because he is mentally impaired and did not receive a fair trial.
October 3, 1989 |
The Texas Supreme Court found "glaring disparities" between the state's rich and poor school districts and ruled Monday that funding within the nation's second-largest system is unconstitutional. Spending varies by as much as $17,000 per pupil per year from rich to poor districts, the court found. "A remedy is long overdue," Justice Oscar Mauzy's opinion said. "The Legislature must take immediate action."
January 20, 2012 |
The Supreme Court gave an early win to Texas Republicans in the fight over redrawing election districts and the balance of power in Congress, ruling that the district lines should mostly follow those set by GOP lawmakers and not those by judges who drew new boundaries to favor Latinos. The 9-0 decision set aside a new map of congressional districts drawn by a special federal court in San Antonio that gave Latinos and Democrats a good chance to win three or possibly four new seats in the House of Representatives.
May 18, 2012 |
HOUSTON -- The Texas Supreme Court has ordered the Lone Star State to pay more than $2 million to a former inmate who spent 26 years in prison for murder, a ruling that could set a precedent for compensating other prisoners whose convictions are overturned. Billy Frederick Allen, now in his 60s, was convicted of two 1983 Dallas-area murders. Unlike other inmates freed after DNA evidence proved their innocence, Allen was freed in 2009 after a court found problems with witness testimony and his trial attorneys' representation.