QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Seniors Moving out! Athens High School Land up for sale! Asking $20,170 for the land includes New football field, old raggedy track, a 2,017 square foot parking lot and 2 gyms. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL AND ASK ANY QUESTIONS you may have. Underclassmen are also included in this package deal!!! For info about including rooms and bathroom etc. please call! Would be a great place to make into a prison, almost there anyways. Give it 2 more years.”
—An ad posted on Craigslist by seniors at Athens High School in Henderson County, according to the Houston Chronicle. As their senior prank, the class of 2017 put their soon-to-be alma mater up for sale, for the bargain price of $20,170.
Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8, which requires abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains in Texas, into law on Tuesday, according to the Daily Dot. The law also bans the donation of fetal tissue, bans the most common method of second-trimester abortions, and implements possible felony criminal charges for anyone who helps a woman get a second-trimester abortion. The law will go into effect on September 1. Anti-choice group Texas Right to Life hailed the law as “the most significant pro-life victory” of the legislative session so far, according to Reuters. The law was signed by Abbott despite a block on fetal remains burial by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in January. Sparks said the requirements “likely are unconstitutionally vague and impose an undue burden on the right to an abortion.” The requirements have been fiercely opposed by pro-choice activists, who say the law is simply meant to restrict safe access to abortion services by attaching an extra financial cost and stigma to the process. Healthcare providers and funeral homes have also expressed concern about the additional cost of cremating or burying the fetal remains.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Dallas jumped into the legal battle against the state’s anti-sanctuaries law on Wednesday, according to the Dallas Morning News, joining Austin, San Antonio, and the little border town of El Cenizo in a lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 4. “The bill is unconstitutional and would infringe upon the city’s ability to protect public safety,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement on Wednesday. Rawlings also told reporters that he had already been in touch with the mayors of Austin and San Antonio. “I told them both this was a serious issue,” Rawlings said, according to the Morning News. A San Antonio federal district court said on Wednesday that it will consolidate the lawsuits filed by all of the cities against the bill, designating El Cenizo, the first to file suit, as the lead plaintiff. A hearing in the case is scheduled for June 26, ahead of the law going into effect on September 1.
Present For Paxton
Looks like Attorney General Ken Paxton will get what he wanted in his criminal fraud case: a new judge. On Wednesday, Texas’s highest criminal court denied a request by the prosecution to hear their argument for why the presiding judge should keep his seat, after a Dallas appellate court ordered to vacate any further rulings by current Judge George Gallagher after he had the case moved from Paxton’s home base, Collin County, to Harris County. Paxton’s team had argued for months to have Gallagher removed from the case, and now Gallagher will probably have to step down by Friday, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals voted 6-3 against the prosecution. The dissenting judges gave no written explanation. With Gallagher heading out, so too is the case’s scheduled September trial date. It’ll take a while to find a new judge, further dragging out a case that has already lasted nearly two years.
Law enforcement detonated a suspicious package outside a federal building in downtown San Antonio on Wednesday and detained three men who apparently attempted to mail the package, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The package ended up not containing any explosives, but it was still a pretty wild afternoon in the Alamo City, with the FBI, Homeland Security, and San Antonio Police Department all descending on the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse after the suspicious package was flagged by the X-ray machine at the post office inside. The building—which is right next to the Alamo—was evacuated, and the surrounding were quickly cordoned off while the authorities investigated. The detonation of the package reverberated throughout downtown San Antonio. According to KENS-5, the detained men cooperated with the FBI and were not arrested. The area was cleared and everything was back to normal by Wednesday evening.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is moving its 2018 convention from Texas over SB 4 Texas Tribune
State Representative Victoria Neave was arrested for DWI Dallas Morning News
Immigrants are now opting out of federal food assistance because they’re afraid of being deported KENS-5
The Odessa American newspaper is suing the Odessa City Council for violating open meetings laws Odessa American
A woman is suing a Cedar Park restaurant after she was burned by a flaming queso flameado Austin American-Statesman