Houston Matters

Abortion Clinics Could Close After Court Rules Texas Restrictions Are Constitutional

Posted on · The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans Tuesday upheld nearly all of the provisions in a controversial law which could leave fewer than ten health clinics in Texas that provide abortions. The three judge panel upheld House Bill 2‘s requirements for such facilities to meet the standards of hospital-style surgical […]

Houston Matters

How and When Is Eminent Domain Exercised in Houston and Texas?

Posted on · Eminent domain is defined as the right of the government or its agent to take private property for public use, with payment of compensation. It sounds very straightforward right? Of course, it's quite often not. The idea of your land being taken away because perhaps oil is found on it or a road needs to […]

Houston Matters

Are Threatening Rap Lyrics Protected by Free Speech?

Posted on · Historically, courts have held that the First Amendment protects a broad range of expression, even offensive speech. But in recent years, there have been cases where such language – in the form of rap lyrics – has been introduced in criminal proceedings. The Supreme Court will rule soon in one such case – Elonis v. […]

Houston Matters

How Might Climate Change Affect Texas?

Posted on · Two military experts recently went before a Texas House committee to convince lawmakers that climate change is not only real, but it's also a threat to U.S. security. The hearing is one of a few discussions surrounding climate change and climate change legislation. To discuss the ways in which climate change affects Texas, including its […]

Houston Matters

Should Non-Profit Hospitals Be Able to Sue Patients Over Unpaid Bills?

Posted on · Last month, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley told NPR and ProPublica he was “astounded” by the collection practices of some non-profit hospitals, who are seizing wages of low-income patients. NPR and ProPublica have found hundreds of such instances, which Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, says could be illegal. They would be, for sure, here in […]

Houston Matters

What Are the Legal and Ethical Implications of Ghost Guns?

Posted on · As the new session of the Texas Legislature got underway Tuesday, gun rights advocates held a rally at the state capitol with a machine capable of building firearms with 3D-printing technology. These so-called “ghost guns” have no serial numbers. The event was part of a push to get rid of the state’s handgun licensing requirements […]

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Immigration in Houston, Generational Divide, and Louis Gossett, Jr: Houston Matters for Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Posted on · After six years of stalled discussion and debate with Congressional Republicans over U.S. immigration policy, President Obama addressed the nation last night and shared his decision to defer the deportation of more than four million immigrants who entered the country illegally. The president characterizes the move as accountability, not amnesty. Congressional Republicans call it an […]

Houston Matters

Supreme Court Blocks Texas From Enforcing Parts Of Abortion Law

Posted on · The back and forth legal wrangling over Texas’ controversial 2013 abortion law continued Tuesday. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the state from enforcing a key provision of the law, which had effectively closed all but a handful of health clinics in Texas providing abortions. The Justices granted a request to suspend a ruling by the […]

Houston Matters

What Do The Latest Supreme Court Rulings Mean For Texas?

Posted on · The Supreme Court’s latest session has nearly drawn to a close. The High Court has issued opinions and decisions in the final weeks in several widely anticipated cases, involving ones involving cell phone privacy and buffer zones around abortion clinics. And by the end of the day Monday, the Court’s expected to issue its decision […]

Houston Matters

The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education 60 Years Later

Posted on · Exactly 60 years ago tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in the landmark civil rights case Brown vs. Board of Education. The High Court ruled the concept of “separate, but equal” public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional. The ruling led to desegregation nationwide. While the spirit of the Brown […]