Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Opioids roundup

  • Prisoners die of drug overdoses at a high rate in their first week after release. That’s in part a prohibition-related problem [Jeffrey Miron, Cato]
  • “Drug testing kits can detect the presence of fentanyl and other contaminants — but in many places, including Illinois, they are classified as illegal drug paraphernalia.” [Steve Chapman]
  • “Hospitalized Patients Are Civilian Casualties in the Government’s War on Opioids” [Jeffrey A. Singer, Cato, more]
  • Texas: “Opioid lawyers pumped $110K into LaHood’s campaign after Bexar County DA hired them” [David Yates, Southeast Texas Record] “State senator working with Watts on home turf opioid lawsuit, lawyers billing Hidalgo County $3,800 an hour” [SE Texas Record]
  • “Cities Vs. States: A Looming Battle For Control Of High-Stakes Opioid Litigation” [Daniel Fisher on Tennessee AG’s intervention]
  • All 50 states have now adopted prescription drug monitoring programs, but do they work as intended? [Jeffrey Singer, Jacob Sullum]

Medical roundup

Texas battles foster care decree

Do teenagers have a constitutional right to drivers’ education as a part of substantive due process? That’s one question raised by a hard-fought battle over federal judge Janis Jack’s virtual takeover of the Texas foster care system. The state has strongly pressed its defense, and the Fifth Circuit has stayed Jack’s injunction. As with earlier ventures into institutional reform litigation in such fields as school finance and busing, special education, and prison reform, the case raises separation of powers issues by transferring the power of the purse into judicial hands and delegating essentially legislative powers to special masters and, implicitly, to private advocacy lawyers who drive the process. [Mark Pulliam/Law and Liberty, first and second parts; Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News; more on foster care, institutional reform litigation and its frequent result, consent decrees]

Environment roundup

States’ boycotts of states, cont’d

“California state university researchers are banned from using funds to travel to Texas to study Harvey’s aftermath.” — Joshua McCabe on Twitter. The guidelines from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra do cite the legislature’s allowance of a number of narrow exceptions including travel that is “required…for the protection of public health, welfare, or safety, as determined by the affected agency.” The cited project, however, might not make it past that tough standard, given that it is possible in principle to wait and study flood aftermaths in some other place that (unlike Texas) is not under legislated California sanctions.

All of which should remind us that boycotts of states by other states 1) operate like internal trade barriers; 2) do not do much for national unity. See earlier posts from April 2015 (would Constitution provide any remedy if states closed state university systems to residents of “bad” states?); April 2016 (logic of lifting sanctions against Cuba extends to sanctions against Texas and North Carolina).

Police roundup

  • “My dad was a cop. He despised the bad guys. But he always told me, ‘we’re the good guys and people should always know the difference.'” [Rep. Eric Swalwell on Twitter, Daniel Dale/Toronto Star on President’s “You can take the hand away, okay?” remarks about handling of suspects in custody; reactions from IACP and rounded up at NYT; related Caroline Linton, CBS News on Suffolk County, N.Y. police department]
  • New legislation in Texas, pushed by police unions, authorizes special courts for cops, guards, and first responders who seek to blame misbehavior on job-related mental conditions [Jolie McCullough/Texas Tribune via Radley Balko]
  • Providence has bad habit of ticketing drivers over parking practices you’d assume were legal [Susan Campbell/WPRI, Scott Shetler/Quirky Travel Guy, 2011]
  • Boston cop to be reinstated with five years’ back pay after nearly choking unarmed man to death; victim, a corrections deputy, had settled with city for $1.4 million [Boston Herald via Jonathan Blanks] Camera saves footage from 30 seconds before activation button pushed: “Baltimore is reviewing 100 cases after video leaks appearing to show police planting drug evidence” [Veronika Bondarenko/Business Insider, Justin Fenton and Kevin Rector/Baltimore Sun] What’s it take for cops to get disciplined, anyway? [Jonathan Blanks on Fort Worth, Tex. whistleblowing case]
  • From the Des Moines Boy Police to D.A.R.E.: America’s long history of enlisting kids as cops to watch peers, family [Joshua Reeves, Reason]
  • Among the public policy involvements of the Fraternal Order of Police: arguing in the Bank of America housing-disparate-impact case for more bank liability to municipalities over lending practices [Liz Farmer, Governing]

Constitutional law roundup

  • In name of suicide prevention, Oregon plans to use emergency one-sided hearsay proceedings to take away gun rights [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
  • Past Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) readings of Emoluments Clause fall between extreme positions of CREW on the one hand and Trump White House on the other [Jane Chong/Lawfare, earlier]
  • “Yes, Justice Thomas, the doctrine of regulatory takings is originalist” [James Burling, PLF] On the Court’s decision in Murr v. Wisconsin (earlier), see also Robert Thomas at his Inverse Condemnation blog here, here, and here;
  • Notwithstanding SCOTUS decision in Pavan v. Brown just four days before, Texas Supreme Court intends to take its time spelling out to litigants the implications of Obergefell for municipal employee benefits [Josh Blackman (plus more), Dale Carpenter on Pidgeon v. Turner] Why the Supreme Court is not going to snatch back Obergefell at this point [David Lat]
  • Tariff-like barrier: California commercial fishing license fees are stacked against out-of-staters [Ilya Shapiro and David McDonald, Cato]
  • H.L. Mencken writes a constitution, 1937 [Sam Bray, Volokh]

June 21 roundup

  • “Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law”: The Economist favorably reviews new Stephen Presser book;
  • Profile of Texas Supreme Court notes that its members regularly face opposition at election time from alliance of plaintiffs’ bar with some social conservatives [Mark Pulliam]
  • 10 lawyers, 6 others charged in alleged workers’ comp fraud scheme targeting Latinos in California [Associated Press]
  • Employee’s ADA case against Novartis backfires, court orders her to pay nearly $2 million; her attorney quit case after discrepancies in her background were discovered [Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com]
  • To protect the children, feds ban a product one of whose functions is to keep drugs out of hands of children [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
  • Budget choices and trade-offs faced by advocacy groups don’t give them constitutionally required standing to sue [Daniel E. Jones and Archis Parasharami, WLF]

More tales of motorist-beware Tenaha, Texas

From John Ross’s April 28 Short Circuit (Institute for Justice):

Readers may recall Tenaha, Tex. officials’ particularly opprobrious abuse of asset forfeiture, which got a write-up in The New Yorker. This week, the Fifth Circuit shares additional details that were news to the editorial staff: During the investigation of the city’s forfeiture practices, the city marshal bugged other officials’ offices, including the mayor. He was also stealing drugs from the evidence room and selling them.

Is it a climate of forfeiture-derived local government finance that attracts this sort of official?

I wrote up Sarah Stillman’s New Yorker piece at the time. Overlawyered coverage of Tenaha here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.