The State of Texas: November 17, 2015

Abbott promises to reject Syrian refugees, another Texas school opts out of campus carry, and a horror story comes to life.

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Tuesday Highlights

A couple stellar performances Monday showed that Texans are the stuff of magic and miracles. First there was the Kawhi Leonard, who had an absolutely monstrous dunk over Trail Blazer Mason Plumlee, contributing to San Antonio’s 93-80 win.

Then there was DeAndre Hopkins and his amazing left-handed catch that led to the Texans’s (shocking) 10-6 upset over the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.

Daily Roundup

A Texas Welcome? — On Monday Governor Greg Abbott joined almost two dozen governors who said Syrian refugees would not be welcome in their states, but it seems the protest might simply be symbolic. “Federal immigration officials in Washington, legal experts and refugee-support organizations in Texas quickly questioned whether the governors had the authority to enforce their directive,” according to the Houston Chronicle and numerous other outlets. “Federal officials could resettle Syrian refugees in Texas through local social-services agencies, and there would be little the state could do to stop it, they said.” In other reactionary responses to the Paris attacks, a Pflugerville Mosque was vandalized sometime before Monday morning. As KXAN details: “When members of the Islamic Center of Pflugerville (ICP) went to open their mosque for morning prayer on Monday, they found feces splattered in front of the mosque with torn pages from the Quran.”

Carry Concerns — Another Texas university is apparently going against the wishes of The People, and rejecting the idea that guns needs to be everywhere. “Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr said Monday that he has ‘little doubt’ that the private institution will opt out of the state’s new campus carry law when it goes into effect next year,” according to the Texas Tribune. The great Clinton nemesis said, “My own view is that it is a very unwise public policy, with all due respect to those who feel strongly (and) very, very rooted in constitutional values as they see them. We’re here as seats of learning, and I do not think this is helpful.” Meanwhile, the UT Faculty Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning campus carry for creating an “uneasy and potentially hostile environment for intellectual inquiry,” according to the Statesman. Not that the vote really matters. “UT President Gregory L. Fenves, who addressed the council before the vote, said that he sympathizes with the faculty but that there are limits on what he can do to address their concerns.” 

Delay of Justice — After all the controversy surrounding the arrests and legal proceedings for those involved in the Waco shootout, lawyers are starting to call the state’s bluff. The lawyer for one of the 106 people charged said his client “ready to stand trial immediately and on Monday filed a motion asking a judge to let the biker’s case serve a ‘test case’ for everyone on all sides of the brawl,” reports the Houston Chronicle. Appealing to everyone’s sense of fiscal and judicial responsibility (but mostly fiscal), attorney Paul Looney said that by requesting “the earliest possible trial setting,” he hopes the “motion serves as a possible solution for the ‘potential quagmire’ the possibility of 80 more indicted cases could pose to the county’s judicial system and taxpayer-based coffers,” according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. Looney gave media a much-desired glimpse into the “test case,” saying, “Most of the defense lawyers believe that you cannot have a conviction based on the notion that these people showed up at Twin Peaks in a show of force. Most of us believe that theory is flawed and that the appellate courts will not support a conviction on it.”

Horror Story — If you weren’t afraid to go out into the woods, you will be now. Six people, including a child, were murdered at a campsite near Palestine, Texas, over the weekend. As the Austin American-Statesman notes, one woman survived the attack and hid in the woods until help arrived. The story has obviously garnered a lot of macabre attention. A suspect has been arrested, and apparently “owns property next to where the victims were found,” according to USA Today. As Fox News writes, “William Hudson, 33, is charged with one murder count and was being held Monday on $2.5 million bond. Prosecutors are expected to file additional charges. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations” and “authorities have released few details about the crime, including a possible motive or how the people were killed.”

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