Houston Matters

How a Supreme Court Ruling Against North Carolina Might Affect How Political Districts in Texas Are Drawn

Posted on · Gerrymandering is the process by which congressional districts are drawn in a way that heavily favors one party over the other. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina had violated the Constitution by doing this very thing — drawing district lines according to race. After similar rulings in Alabama and Virginia, could Texas […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Houston Area Survey, and Rewriting the Constitution: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly of the 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 […]

Houston Matters

Inside the Latest Battles in the Long War Over Prayer in School

Posted on · Last year, the American Humanist Association sued the Birdville Independent School District, northeast of Fort Worth, over its practice of opening school board meetings with student-delivered prayers. In the year since, the two sides have tussled over motions to dismiss. Most recently, the school district has appealed to have the case against individual school board […]

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 […]

Full Show

Green Party and HISD Superintendent Finalist: Monday’s Show (August 8, 2016)

Posted on · Delegates of the Green Party met at the University of Houston on Saturday (Aug. 6, 2016) to nominate Dr. Jill Stein as their presidential candidate. The Green Party is one of a few so-called “third parties” that have sought to make inroads in recent election cycles, with varying success. On this edition of Houston Matters, […]

Full Show

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

Posted on · 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 Matters

How Likely is Another Constitutional Convention?

Posted on · Gov. Greg Abbott last week (Jan. 8, 2016) joined the ranks of Republicans pushing for the first U.S. Constitutional Convention in more than 200 years. He called on Texas to take the lead in pushing for numerous constitutional amendments that would give states power to ignore federal laws and override decisions made by the U.S. […]

Houston Matters

On Constitution Day: A Reading of The Bill of Rights

Posted on · Today is Constitution Day, a federally observed day to recognize the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. On Sept. 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document on which the structure of our federal government was delineated, and with it came ten amendments, known as The Bill of Rights. While 17 more have been […]

Full Show

The 28th Amendment and the Richmond Strip: Thursday’s Show (July 23, 2015)

Posted on · There are 27 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The first ten, of course, are the Bill of Rights, which address matters ranging from speech to religion to guns. The other seventeen Amendments include one dedicated to abolishing slavery, others ensure voting rights, one establishes Prohibition and another repeals it. From time to time, citizens call […]

Full Show

Supreme Court Recap and The Full Menu: Wednesday’s Show (July 1, 2015)

Posted on · The U.S. Supreme Court issued the last of its opinions for this term on Monday. Many of the High Court’s decisions this term carry big implications for the nation — and for the state of Texas in particular. Among the highlights: the court determined bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, that health care subsidies acquired […]

Houston Matters

Should Expression on Campus Be Limited to Free Speech Zones?

Posted on · A young Blinn College student named Nicole Sanders wanted to start a student organization to advocate for gun rights on the Brenham campus. She was told she could only "engage in expressive activity" in a designated "free speech zone," which is roughly the size of a parking spot. Add this to other “free speech” questions […]