Houston Matters

‘Sandra Bland’ Bill Aims to Protect Minorities in Police Interactions

Posted on · (Above: Sandra Bland’s booking photo at the Waller County Jail from July 2015. Photo: Waller County Sheriff’s Office via AP) Texas State Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Houston Democrat, has introduced House Bill 2702 at the Texas Legislature, what many are calling the “Sandra Bland bill.” It aims to protect minorities and the mentally ill during interactions […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Big 12 Decision and Law School Dispute: The Good, Bad & Ugly of This Week’s News

Posted on · A lot can happen in a week. Some of it good. Some of it bad. Some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn to our rotating panel of “non-experts” to parse The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of it all. This week, our panel weighs in on this […]

Full Show

Remembering Bob Allen and the State of TV News: Friday’s Show (October 21, 2016)

Posted on · Longtime TV sports anchor Bob Allen passed away Wednesday, after a long battle with cancer. Allen worked for nearly four decades in TV sports, most of it as sports director at KTRK Channel 13, before finishing his career at KHOU Channel 11. On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with former colleagues about Allen […]

Houston Matters

Harvard Law Study Singles Out Harris County for Poor Handling of Death Penalty Cases 

Posted on · A Harvard Law School study reports that racial bias, over-aggressive prosecutions and inadequate representation for poor defendants plague Harris County’s handling of death penalty cases. We discuss the study with Jeffrey Newberry, a legal clinic supervisor at the  University of Houston Law Center, and Ana Otero, a professor of law at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall […]

Houston Matters

Judge Rules Texas Defied Court Order On Voter ID Law

Posted on · It seems as if the twists and turns in the saga over the state’s voter ID law will never end. In the latest development, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos Monday (Sept. 19, 2016) determined the state’s voter education campaign is using misleading language to discourage eligible voters from going to the polls. When the […]

Houston Matters

What Should Be the 28th Amendment?

Posted on · Today we observe National Constitution Day and ask you to tell us what’s so important to you that you would want it added to the U.S. Constitution as the 28th Amendment. Among the 27 Amendments in place are the first ten, aka the Bill of Rights, which address matters ranging from speech to religion to guns. […]

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Houston Matters Weekend for September 10, 2016

Posted on · On July 18, 2016, former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa was sentenced to 46 months in prison for repeatedly illegally logging into the Houston Astros’ computer database. When the news broke reaction was swift – and surprising. As the scandal was already well documented, many skipped taking Correa rightly to task for what he […]

Houston Matters

Exploring the Impact of Unrest in Venezuela on Houstonians

Posted on · Recent news reports from Venezuela paint a picture of a nation in crisis. Thousands of people took to the streets last week to protest the reign of President Nicolas Maduro amid worries over a lack of food and medicine. Just this week, Latino Fox News reported that the country’s defense minister will appoint 18 military […]

Houston Matters

A Closer Look at Two Battles in Court Over Transgender Rights

Posted on · Last week (Aug. 22, 2016), U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas ruled the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education exceeded their authority when they applied Title IX’s ban on gender discrimination in public schools to policies regarding transgender students’ use of facilities, like locker rooms and bathrooms. The federal agencies had concluded — and offered guidance […]

Houston Matters

Clearing Up Common Misconceptions About the Constitution

Posted on · Amid recent developments in the news, there have been examples of Americans citing their Constitutional rights in ways that suggest they don’t know what’s actually in the U.S. Constitution. We discuss a few such examples, and seek to debunk some common misconceptions about what the language in the Constitution actually states. We welcome your questions and comments […]

Houston Matters

Understanding the Many Factors that Determine Prison Sentences

Posted on · On July 18, 2016, former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa was sentenced  to 46 months in prison for repeatedly illegally logging into the Houston Astros’ computer database. When the news broke reaction was swift – and surprising. As the scandal was already well documented, many skipped taking Correa rightly to task for what he […]

Houston Matters

Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

Posted on · The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Wednesday (July 20, 2016) ruled the state’s voter ID law is discriminatory, and violates the Voting Rights Act. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because this is not the first time a federal court has found flaws with the Texas law — it’s actually the fourth […]

Houston Matters

How Are Police Trained to Use Deadly Force?

Posted on · In a week when two police shootings involving African-American men sparked outrage and debate across the nation — and an apparently retaliatory attack against police in Dallas — we wanted to get a law enforcement perspective on the week’s events. Former police officer and law enforcement expert Dr. Melissa Hamilton of the University of Houston Law […]