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Paxton part of coalition asking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reduce utility rates

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is taking part in a bipartisan coalition aimed at reducing consumers’ utility rates as a result of recent tax reforms.

None Dare Call It Politics: Anatomy of a Witch Hunt, Part 3

On November 4, 2014, when the 51-year-old Ken Paxton was triumphantly elected Attorney General of Texas, defeating his Democrat opponent, the euphoniously named Sam Houston, by over 20 percentage points, the conservative movement in the Lone Star State had a new rising star. Paxton’s enemies were worried; the Tea Party favorite, an impressive University of Virginia law school graduate, seemed bound for the Governor’s mansion, a prospect that made the state’s centrist GOP Establishment aghast. Paxton’s political career had been nothing short of meteoric. First elected to public office in 2002 with the support of grass-roots activists and evangelicals, Paxton represented his suburban Dallas district in the Texas House of Representatives for a decade before winning a coveted promotion to the exclusive 31-member Texas Senate in 2012.

Hurricane Harvey class actions moving ahead after judge denies DOJ delay request

HOUSTON – A pair of class action lawsuits against the federal government over Hurricane Harvey flood damage and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to release water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs are moving forward following a federal judge's decision earlier in December.

Citizen journalist arrested for scooping police

LAREDO – A citizen journalist and blogger was recently arrested for releasing the name of a border patrol agent who committed suicide before the police could put out a press release.

Abbott appoints Jimmy Blacklock to Texas Supreme Court

AUSTIN – On Jan. 3, Gov. Greg Abbott appointed and swore in Jimmy Blacklock to the Texas Supreme Court following Justice Don Willett’s confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Texas AG joins 19 other states in support of cake artist in same-sex marriage case

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from 19 other states filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States supporting a bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed in September.

Justice Kennedy’s Too-Late Lament for Tolerance

I have been silent about Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, not because I lack interest in the case, but because it has already generated extensive commentary here and throughout the commentariat. Court watchers, like fortune tellers reading tea leaves, speculate how the justices will line up, with Justice Anthony Kennedy likely casting the swing vote in favor or against the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who declined for religious reasons to create a gay wedding cake.

Tort reform group endorses Katy Boatman for First Court of Appeals

HOUSTON – On Dec. 21, Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Katy Boatman of Houston in her campaign for Place 7 on the First Court of Appeals in Harris County and nine surrounding counties.

Texas off ATRA’s ‘Judicial Hellholes’ list, hail lawsuit reform cited as ‘Point of Light’

AUSTIN – For the past two years, two of Texas’ more litigious venues caught the attention of the American Tort Reform Association -- Hidalgo County, arguably the birthplace of mass hailstorm litigation, and the Eastern District of Texas, a hot spot for patent infringement cases.

Supreme Court Removes Patent Litigation from the Heartland of Texas

For years, patent assertion entities have filed patent lawsuits against retailers in federal court in Texas. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC may give retailers the ability to insist they defend such lawsuits on their home turf.

What Robert Bork Learned from Judicial Activism, Right and Left

I have been thinking about Robert Bork recently, prompted in part by the 30th anniversary of his rejection by the Senate on November 23, 1987. Next month will mark the fifth anniversary of his passing on December 19, 2012. Bork was profoundly influential in conservative legal circles when I graduated from law school in 1980 and started paying closer attention to constitutional theory. I was impressed with both Bork’s scholarly writings and his more polemical articles in publications such as National Review. A 1982 essay he wrote in NR, entitled “The Struggle Over the Role of the Court,” reprinted in his 2008 anthology A Time to Speak, remains timely—even prescient. Ramesh Ponnuru has called Bork’s 1990 book, The Tempting of America, written in the wake of his confirmation defeat, “the most important popular statement of judicial conservatism yet produced.”

Opinion: Stop the Next Internet Power Grab

The internet has changed how we communicate, engage in commerce and live our lives. It not only provides a platform that can be used to promote free speech, but serves as a great equalizer when it comes to jobs and opportunity by dramatically reducing the barriers of entry for anyone with a new idea and broadband connection.

Texas AG joins coalition supporting Trump’s appointment of temporary CFPB director

AUSTIN – On Nov. 27, Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of five states led by West Virginia in support of President Trump’s authority to appoint temporary leadership at the nation’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed.

Texas AG praises Trump and Congress for rescinding ‘unconstitutional’ Arbitration Rule

AUSTIN – Attorney General Paxton praised President Trump for signing into law a joint resolution passed by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives that rescinds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “unconstitutional” Arbitration Rule.

The Jones Act and the rebirth of the great American shipyard

HOUSTON (November 7, 2017) -- Two years ago, I sold one of the last American offshore drilling vessels to a foreign buyer. The Ocean Titan was an obsolete jack-up rig, an equipment platform for deepwater exploration and development. Over its forty-year lifespan, American shipbuilding had been ravaged by rivals abroad and burdensome regulations at home. Today, the industry falls grievously short of the hope expressed by the drafters of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920: “that the United States shall have a merchant marine of the best equipped and most suitable types of vessels.”

Robert Bork’s Second Amendment

Readers of Law and Liberty may have noticed that I am a fan of Justice Antonin Scalia (for example, here and here). I am also an admirer of Robert H. Bork, whom my colleague John McGinnis has described as “the most important legal scholar on the right in the last 50 years.” Bork was a pioneer in both the field of antitrust law (with his influential 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox) and constitutional law, as the father of what we now call “originalism.” In his seminal 1971 article in the Indiana Law Journal, entitled “Neutral Principles and Some First Amendment Problems,”[1] and in his later best-selling books, The Tempting of America (1990) and Slouching Towards Gomorrah (1996), Bork eviscerated the “noninterpretive” theories of constitutional law that dominated the legal academy in the 1960s and 1970s.

I Heard the Voice of Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia definitely had a way with words. Law students pore over his opinions not just for Scalia’s keen analysis but to delight in the verve of his prose—pungent, clear, combative, and always colorful. Scalia aficionados also savor his books and essays, which showcase his forceful rhetoric and deft pen. Alas, the body of Scalia’s judicial decisions and scholarship, although considerable, is finite. Fortunately, Scalia fans now have a treasure trove of new material to savor, in the form of a recently-released compilation of the late Justice’s speeches, entitled Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived.

Expert: Three years on, Alice ruling has eliminated patents that burdened the system

WASHINGTON – A 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on "abstract" patents has hit patent litigation hard and reduced the burden on software developers in the three years since its ruling, according to two experts in the intellectual property law.

Tort reform group cheers reversal of $663M judgment against Trinity Industries

WASHINGTON - The American Tort Reform Association is cheering the recent reversal of a record-setting $663 million False Claims Act verdict in a case that helped land the Eastern District of Texas on ATRA’s Judicial Hellhole list two years ago.

U.S. Chamber, 17 other groups seek to vacate CFPB arbitration rule

DALLAS – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with 17 other groups, are seeking to overturn a recent U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that prevents financial service providers from using arbitration as a means to settle disputes with consumers and avoid class-action litigation.