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Storms, Floods and Zubik v. Burwell: Tuesday’s Show (May 31, 2016)

The U.S. Supreme Court recently (May 16, 2016) sent Zubik v. Burwell back to lower courts. A ruling in the Texas case (which includes challenges from Houston Baptist University and East Texas Baptist University) would have clarified whether an Obama Administration mandate for some employers to provide birth control benefits to employees runs afoul of […]

Houston Baptist University Sign - HBU - Colleges - Education - MHagertyThe U.S. Supreme Court recently (May 16, 2016) sent Zubik v. Burwell back to lower courts. A ruling in the Texas case (which includes challenges from Houston Baptist University and East Texas Baptist University) would have clarified whether an Obama Administration mandate for some employers to provide birth control benefits to employees runs afoul of those employers’ rights to religious freedom.

Instead, the high court remanded the case in the hopes that the two sides might “resolve” their differences in the lower courts. But why, exactly? Did the Supreme Court identify practical middle ground that might render all these court challenges moot? Or was this a move by an eight justice court to avoid a 4-4 ruling, which would leave lower court rulings in place?

The cases involved — and the Supreme Court’s approach — offer fascinating insight into our judicial process. On this edition of Houston Matters, we learn more about Zubik v. Burwell and the implications of this recent court action, as we talk with Josh Blackman of South Texas College of Law. We also hear the views of Elizabeth Gregory, director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Houston, and Adele Keim, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Also this hour:

Storms and Floods

Some schools are closed Tuesday as a result of flooding in Fort Bend County. The Brazos River has risen above record levels. At least six deaths have been reported as a result of recent flooding.

But it could be worse. News 88.7 energy and environment reporter Dave Fehling tells us about one effort to slow flood waters before they ever get to Houston.

Then, as the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins tomorrow (June 1, 2016), we hear from NOAA Flight Meteorologist Jack Parrish, who leads a team known as the Hurricane Hunters, which conducts tests while in and above tropical storms and hurricanes, to send data back to meteorologists on the ground who interpret it for the public. Paige Phelps spoke with Parrish last year about the science of prediction, and what it’s like to be inside a plane right in the thick of such storms.

Houston Featured on Genealogy Roadshow

Houston is featured in the current season of the PBS series Genealogy Roadshow. The series bills itself as “part detective story, part emotional journey” as it researches and explores the family histories of diverse Americans. Tonight’s episode takes place downtown at the Houston Public Library’s Julia Ideson Building. Maggie Martin talks with co-host – and genealogy expert – Kenyatta Berry.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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