Coverage of Friday’s temporary injunction hearing:
KGBT Channel 4, “Lawsuit seeks to uphold transportation monopoly in Hidalgo” (Best Headline award!)
The Monitor (McAllen)
El Manana (Spanish–Reynosa/Tamaulipas, Mexico)
The temporary injunction hearing was held today in Hidalgo County District Court, and Judge Contreras announced that he will issue his decision next Friday at 3 p.m. Look for an update as soon as the decision is announced.
The temporary injunction hearing in Palmas v. Sanchez, the Hidalgo, Texas case in which two city councilmen are challenging a request for an illegal injunction to prevent them from voting on certain matters, has been re-set for tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Najvar Law Firm is representing defendants challenging the injunction request.
Here is the Early to Rise initiative proponents’ original petition for mandamus, along with the court’s letter requesting a response from the County by September 3. The case is styled In re Jonathan Day, et al., No. 14-13-00748-CV, in the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston.
County Judge Ed Emmett announced today the petition did not meet the legal requirements and would not be placed on the ballot.
There is talk of an imminent lawsuit, but it doesn’t appear anything has been filed today. As promised, Early to Rise has filed suit to force the issue onto the ballot, requesting a decision by Sept 16.
The Chronicle’s Kiah Collier takes a look at the odd legal questions related to this petition drive. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has said he’ll announce in a press conference Monday (the deadline) whether he will put it on the ballot. Both he and Sen. Dan Patrick have requested opinions from the Attorney General related to this question, and I’m not sure if an answer is supposed to be forthcoming before Monday.
The story in Hidalgo continues to get even more interesting. Dave Hendricks of The Monitor reports the latest here. See my previous post regarding the serious constitutional problem with a court enjoining a legislative body from engaging in the legislative process. I’m quoted in the article:
On July 22, Rudy Franz convinced state District Judge Juan Partida to sign a temporary restraining order against Ramirez and Sanchez, forbidding them from voting on the bus permit. When that case was removed to federal court, Rudy Franz obtained another temporary restraining order from another district judge on Aug 12.
Once again, the court blocked Ramirez and Sanchez from voting, and the bus permit stalled again.
After reviewing the initial legal filings, a Houston-based attorney called the situation “crazy” and questioned the willingness of district judges to stop local elected officials from voting.
“No federal court would ever issue an injunction against Congress and say ‘Congress can’t vote on this trade bill because some member of Congress said it would harm his business,’ and that’s exactly what happened here,” said Jerad Najvar, a Houston attorney who handles political law issues, including campaign finance and ethics.
My criticism goes to the power of the judiciary vis a vis legislative bodies in a system of separation of powers. Most people think of the separation of powers in terms of “checks and balances” among the branches of the federal government, but it is no less important in local government. It seems somebody should raise a (Texas law) constitutional objection to the injunction, and the order to mediate. This injunction, like the previous one, was issued ex parte, so it appears the defendants did not yet have a chance to answer.
Here’s the new order: 20130812 Hidalgo TRO Temporary Restraining Order Rudy Franz
Najvar Law Firm is proud to support this event for grassroots conservatives, in conjunction with the Houston Young Republicans and Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans. Each of those organizations is hosting training sessions Saturday, Aug 24, and then the participants are invited to The Burger Shack Grill in Katy for a free milkshake and networking with fellow activists.