Baytown, Texas, police arrested a woman they call a habitual thief after a pistol-packing pastor finally caught her in the act. After security cameras caught a person stealing packages from his porch, Pastor Benny James Holmes set a trap. "I put some dummy boxes out and sure enough about 5:10 in the afternoon here she comes again thinking she was gonna get her gift again, but she met the homeowner -- me," Holmes said. "When I came out of my house and she turned the corner here, she met me and my gun."
The highest criminal court in Texas tossed out a state law Wednesday banning "improper photography" -- photos or videos taken in a public place without consent and with the purpose of sexual gratification -- as a violation of free-speech rights. "Protecting someone who appears in public from being the object of sexual thoughts seems to be the sort of paternalistic interest in regulating the defendant's mind that the First Amendment was designed to guard against," said the opinion, written by Presiding Judge Sharon Keller. "We also keep in mind the Supreme Court's admonition that the forms of speech that are exempt from First Amendment protection are limited, and we should not be quick to recognize new categories of unprotected expression." read more
From the Court's order:
After the district court's decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revised the procedures to make it easier for persons who have difficulty affording any fees to obtain the birth certificates or other documentation needed under the law, or to have the need for documentation waived. Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 (July 31, 2014). This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state's probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court.
Ruling that the Supreme Court's one-year-old decision striking down a provision of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act "does little more than give both sides in this case something to hope for," a federal judge in New Orleans on Wednesday upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages and its refusal to recognize any such union performed in another state. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Martin C. Feldman thus became the first by a federal court to reject a constitutional challenge since the Justices' decision in United States v. Windsor.
A federal judge on Friday struck down new requirements for Texas abortion facilities -- a decision that could have shuttered all but a few abortion clinics in the state. The standards were set to go into effect Monday. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of the District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled that the law's ambulatory surgical center requirement "burdens Texas women in a way incompatible with the principles of personal freedom and privacy protected by the United States Constitution for the 40 years since Roe v. Wade." House Bill 2 would have required abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. read more