Video of the Day
The Texas Rangers’ new recruit — 103-year-old Lucille Fleming — threw out the first pitch for the team’s game against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. She took the honors because she recently died for three whole minutes, citing the team as her will to live. “I said, ‘Get me to, I want to live, I want to watch the Rangers game,'” she tells Fox 4 News. On throwing out the first pitch: “It was heavenly, I tell you.”
His Own Lawyer — It was standing-room only as Attorney General Ken Paxton appeared before a judge in Fort Worth to plead “not guilty” to charges of financial fraud. About thirty minutes long, the proceedings had all the excitement of a sitcom. For starters, Paxton’s lawyer quit due to “unspecified reasons,” as the Texas Tribune put it. It’s a bit confusing, but everyone pretty much has their suspicions. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the move is “prompting some to wonder whether the changing legal representation is a strategy,” with the Tribune paraphrasing the prosecutor, who “hoped the pattern did not become a stalling tactic.” The Austin American-Statesman‘s story leads with the prospect of cameras during the proceedings, which Paxton objected to for obvious reasons. Paxton did get one wish immediately granted — the trial will be held in Collin County, where the charges originate and, just coincidentally, where Paxton is so entrenched that the county DA had himself recused (they were business partners). Another bonus for Paxton: Collin apparently doesn’t allow cameras, which he pointed out to the judge. That’s where things got a bit pointed. “That’s my decision,” said District Judge George Gallagher. There was another rather awkward exchange when the judge reminded Paxton to stand when asked about the charges. Long story short, this could be the most exciting financial trial anyone has ever seen.
Dixie is Down — If you had some nostalgia for the Jefferson Davis statue on UT Austin’s campus, you better get there fast! A judge on Wednesday ruled that the university can take it down, following a lot public debate and a panel of thoughtful people. “State District Judge Karin Crump ruled Thursday that the Sons of Confederate Veterans didn’t have the right to sue to halt the statue’s removal. Even if it did, she found, it appears unlikely that the legal effort would have succeeded,” the Texas Tribune writes. The original UT panel had recommended either moving the statue or putting up some contextual plaques. It appears the university is going with the former, as the statue will be removed in the next few days. An attorney for the SCV called the move a “cultural atrocity,” according to the Statesman. The judge said that though the statue has historical import, the university has every right to move it. The other confederate leader statues—ol’ Stonewall, among them—will remain because they “have strong connections to Texas.” Curiously enough, “a statue of former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson will also be removed. No one was complaining about that one, but it is across the mall from the Davis statue and will be moved for the sake of symmetry.”
Custody Battle — There’s been a lot of talk of “anchor babies” lately. While on a campaign visit to McAllen, Jeb Bush made some Donald Trump-esque comments about anchor babies in an attempt to defend his use of the derogatory term. Although Bush said the real anchor baby concern had more to do with Asians, Latinos weren’t fooled about the barbs’ directive. As the Texas Tribune reported on Tuesday, and now making it to Fox Latino, “The Mexican government is warning that Texas’ denial of birth certificates for U.S. children born here to undocumented immigrants stands to imperil the relationship between Mexico and the Lone Star State. As the Tribune noted, “At issue is the refusal by county registrars’ offices to accept the parents’ foreign passports as a valid form of identification without a valid U.S. visa or consular identification card. The families claim the state has violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause by rejecting the documents, and is also violating the Supremacy Clause by enforcing federal immigration laws.” In its amicus brief “the Mexican government is requesting that Texas be clear about what two forms of ID it will accept in order to give the children U.S. birth certificate.”
Ten Million Shades of Green — If there’s going to be a terribly written best seller, at least everyone involved should get a slice of the pie. Following a decision last month regarding Fifty Shades of Grey, a judge ruled that an Arlington woman was entitled to about $10.7 million for her “interest in the e-publishing business that originally released” the steamy read, according to a Wednesday story from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That ruling came after a decision from a Tarrant County jury earlier this month, which agreed that Jennifer Podroza and her Australian associate were, indeed, “partners in The Writer’s Coffee Shop, which started out as an online blog in 2009, along with Waxahachie resident Jennifer McGuire. Visitors went to the fan-based website and wrote ‘fan fiction’ stories,” one of which turned into FSOG. In last month’s verdict, “the jury did not set a dollar amount, but attorneys representing Pedroza and Hayward said during a court hearing Wednesday that forensic accountants determined that Pedroza’s 25 percent interest in the $41 million earned by the book was worth roughly $10.7 million.” That’s not the official amount, however, as attorneys will still need to work out their fees and interest into the final total. Because then there’s nothing hotter or in-demand than a lawyer who’s into financial BDSM.