QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Mark envisioned a Texas where all children were well-educated. Mark did not serve to assuage his ego or advance his social standing. He served to lead the people of Texas to a better future. He was a fine Texan and a good and decent man to whom we’re all grateful.”
A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out Texas’s attempt to have a law banning sanctuary cities declared constitutional, according to the Texas Tribune. Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the pre-emptive lawsuit against the city of Austin, Travis County, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund after Senate Bill 4 was signed in May. But U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed the case, dealing a blow to the state’s fight against sanctuary cities in Texas. Critics of SB 4 range from immigrant advocates to local sheriffs and police chiefs, who say the bill is a discriminatory “show me your papers” provision targeting Hispanics and will result in unnecessary deportations. Supporters of the bill, including Governor Greg Abbott, say it’s necessary to keep Texans safe. A separate lawsuit challenging SB 4, filed by the little border town of El Cenizo, several border cities and counties, immigrant advocate groups, and Texas’s four largest cities, had a preliminary hearing in a San Antonio federal court in late June, and the judge for that case has yet to reach a decision. But the state’s court failure in Austin on Wednesday could shake kay arguments in the San Antonio case.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars became the first professional sports franchise to come out publicly against the bathroom bill on Wednesday, according to the Dallas Morning News. “Dallas was warm and welcoming when we came to this great city 25 years ago,” President Jim Lites said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Dallas Stars stands strongly opposed to any legislation perceived as discriminatory, including proposed bathroom legislation. We welcome fans from all over the globe, and our roster boasts players from half a dozen countries. Dallas welcomes all, and we welcome all.” Lites also references the NHL draft, which Dallas is set to host next year amid protests from LGBT advocates. “We are proud of our home and want every visitor to feel safe at home here, too, and that’s why we oppose this discriminatory bathroom legislation,” Lites said in the statement. As the Morning News notes, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has been critical of the bill, and the Dallas Cowboys have reportedly been lobbying against it quietly.
Texas’s coastal residents should prepare to batten down the hatches this hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Wednesday that the Atlantic hurricane season will result in an above-average fourteen to nineteen storms strong enough to earn names, a prediction that could disrupt energy and agriculture markets now that it looks like a system-softening Pacific El Niño won’t arrive to save the day. “There is a possibility now that the season will be extremely active,” said Gerry Bell, lead hurricane seasonal forecaster at the U.S. Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, according to the Houston Chronicle. “We are now entering the historical peak months of the season. This three month period is when the bulk of hurricanes occur.” This most recent prediction is even harsher than the NOAA’s last hurricane season forecast in May, when the agency said we would be likely in store for between eleven and seventeen major storms.
Former Exxon CEO and Wichita Falls native Rex Tillerson is in a tough spot. The secretary of State must now put out the massive fire started by President Donald Trump, who earlier this week seemed prepared to go to war with North Korea, saying the country would face “fire and fury” if it does not stop making threats toward the United States. On Wednesday, Tillerson defended President Trump’s remarks, but also downplayed the threat of nuclear war. “What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language,” Tillerson said in an interview with reporters while flying from Malaysia to a scheduled refueling stop in Guam, according to the Washington Post. “I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime that the U.S. has the unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies, and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part.” Tillerson also told reporters that he does “not believe that there is any imminent threat.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
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Corpus Christi’s ousted former mayor is making a run at Ted Cruz’s Senate seat Corpus Christi Caller-Times
This is the expert cops call to the witness stand to justify extreme behavior Texas Observer
A wide range of groups will stage an anti-border wall protest in South Texas this weekend McAllen Monitor
A mom gave up her three-day-old daughter at a Waco fire station Waco Herald-Tribune
Galveston Bay got an OK environmental grade Galveston Daily News