While We Wait For the Special Session, Court Cases And Congressional Candidates Are In The News

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda FanningJuly 7, 2017 4:27 pm, , ,

Time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune.

The U.S. Justice Department has signed off on Texas’ revised Voter ID law, recommending that courts dismiss cases related to the original law, now that the Texas Legislature has amended it in ways intended to address previous court findings. It’s unclear whether the federal judge hearing the Voter ID case is likely to accept the Trump administration’s recommendation.

“The judge has previously said the initial version was discriminatory against minorities,” Ramshaw says. “The argument now is: this version is less discriminatory against minorities. We’re going to have to wait and see, but clearly the Trump administration is trying to put its thumb on the scale here.”

Embattled Attorney Genera Ken Paxton still faces security fraud charges, but is well-prepared to fight them. At least financially. Ramshaw says Paxton’s legal defense is largely being funded by his “friends,” and that it’s unlikely those benefactors have purely personal reasons for aiding the attorney general.

Observers are taking notice of a U.S. House race in central Texas. House District 31 includes Killeen and Round Rock. The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. John Carter. On the Democratic side in next year’s election will be M.J. Hegar, author of the book “Shoot Like A Girl.” Hegar, an Air Force combat veteran and advocate for allowing women to serve in combat, is expected to make the race a lively one, Ramshaw says.

The Democratic field already includes several challengers, including fellow veteran Kent Lester; Dr. Christine Eady Mann, a family physician in Cedar Park; and Mike Clark, who first challenged Carter in 2016.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.