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The State of Texas: Ken Paxton Sues To Get Guns In Austin’s City Hall

Plus: Joaquín Castro keeps throwing shade at Ted Cruz, a Baylor athletics staffer wants to know exactly why he was fired, and state troopers maybe shouldn’t have escorted a top prospect to a Texas Rangers game.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY


“Normally, when Dr. Flatt would do the cast, he would take one of his wife’s shoe boxes and, of course, destroy it by cutting a hole in it. You set your hand in it and it casts. But with Andre the Giant, he had to take a hat box and fill it with rosin.”

—Dr. Jay Mabrey, chief of orthopedic surgery at Baylor, to CBS DFW. Mabrey was giving a tour of the Hand Collection at Baylor University Medical Center, which includes hundreds of bronze casts of famous people’s hands, from Neil Armstrong to Walt Disney to, yes, even Andre the Giant’s Herculean mitts. The man behind the hands is Dr. Adrian Flatt, a retired hand surgeon and former chief of orthopedics at Baylor, who first started casting hands to study them. 


BIG NEWS


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to reporters at a news conference outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to reporters at a news conference outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Gabriella Demczuk/Getty

Big Guns
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Thursday that he’s suing the City of Austin, alleging that it is violating state law by banning guns from its city hall, according to the Austin American-Statesman. After the state’s open carry law went into effect in January, a lot of government buildings were suddenly put in a weird spot thanks to the law’s vague language that said guns could be prohibited in courts or “offices utilized by the court.” Many city halls across the state hold some sort of court in-house, like Austin, which occasionally hosts a community court for low-level offenders. This court, city hall officials argue, allows them to uphold their gun ban. But whether that’s actually a court apparently depends on who you ask. Three weeks ago, Paxton’s office issued a non-binding opinion that said there is no court in Austin’s city hall, and warned the local government that if the gun ban was not dropped, it could face legal action. Austin didn’t budge, and now it appears as though Paxton’s threat was not an empty one. A number of requests for rulings on gun bans in municipal buildings across the state have landed on Paxton’s desk since the open carry law went into effect, coming from both concerned citizens and confused local governments, with Paxton generally opining in favor of allowing guns, sometimes even if it’s on a room-by-room basis in multipurpose buildings. This, however, is the very first time he’s filed a lawsuit to get rid of a government building’s gun ban. Austin’s not backing down. “We are prepared to defend this lawsuit and look forward to having this matter resolved by a court,” a city spokesperson said in a statement, according to the Texas Tribune.


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


RoasTed
Ever since U.S. Representative Joaquín Castro indicated earlier this week that he might consider taking on Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, he’s been relentlessly dissing his Republican rival. Cruz made it harder on himself after he reacted, uh, a little strongly to Castro’s tepid expression of interest in running for Senate, sending out emails with the subject line “The Castro brothers” and imploring supporters to send him money because “opponents are already making plans to defeat us, so we cannot afford to wait to engage until 2018,” according to Politico. Castro responded yesterday, saying Cruz “freaked out,” according to the Dallas Morning News. But then Castro went straight for the jugular: “That’s what I would expect from somebody who hasn’t spent any time working for the people of Texas…. Texans have figured out that Ted is for Ted. Ted is not for Texas.” Castro quickly went back-to-back on Cruz, taking time later in the day to elaborate on his comments last month that he wished he could “trade” Cruz for liberals. “I don’t even know if the Republican states would take Ted Cruz,” Castro said, per the Morning News. “Let me know if somebody wants to take Ted because we can make that trade immediately.” Fire. Emoji.

Seeking Answers
A former Baylor athletics staffer who was let go as part of the wave of firings following the completion of an independent investigation into the school’s mishandling of sexual assault cases claims he was wrongfully kicked to the curb, and he’s taking legal action to find out why. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, Tom Hill, a former associate athletics director for community relations at Baylor, filed a petition on Thursday requesting a judge to force Baylor to release all of the documents from the report compiled by law firm Pepper Hamilton. Baylor released only a summary of the report’s findings in May. Hill also wants to depose three members of Baylor’s board of regents. He told the Tribune that he had no involvement with any athletes who had been accused of sexual assault, and maintained his innocence. “I want Baylor to be transparent,” Hill said. He’s the latest to join a long list of people calling for more transparency, including former university president Ken Starr, alumni groups, and some survivors of sexual assault. So far, Baylor hasn’t released any more information. But if a judge rules in Hill’s favor, it could force the university’s hand.

Sketchy Escort
Top Texas Rangers prospect Joey Gallo received a police escort to the Rangers game on Tuesday, helping him circumvent stand-still traffic in Fort Worth so he could arrive at the ballpark on time after he was called up to the big leagues from the Triple-A Round Rock Express earlier in the afternoon. All it took to secure the escort was one phone call from the Rangers’ vice president of security to the Texas Highway Patrol. “I probably shouldn’t say how fast I was going,” Gallo later told the Dallas Morning News. “It might have been a little dangerous. But they told me I was in the starting lineup. I had to get there. Having the police escort was pretty cool.” And at first, it really did seem pretty cool. But in hindsight, it’s looking a little more like a slight misuse of public resources. According to the Morning News, the Texas Department of Safety reviewed the case, and by Thursday it had decided that the escort “was not appropriate.” Whoops. Of course, the Rangers probably aren’t too upset about it. Thanks to the escort, Gallo made it to the game on time to crush a 450-foot home run during his second at-bat.


WHAT WE’RE READING


A South Texas teen veered off the road because he was distracted by a taco KIII-TV3

Galveston’s controversial ex-police chief is now officially facing sexual assault allegations Houston Chronicle

A U.S. military contractor wants to have a Houston woman’s lawsuit tried under Afghan law Houston Press

If you’re going to steal steak, why would you go for Wal-Mart ribeye? Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Odessa unveils a statue memorializing Chris Kyle Odessa American

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  • OM

    mr. paxton has one eye open and one eye closed, and that is not good enough for Texas. Time to go, bro.