Five stories that have North Texas talking: What were Davis’ filibuster ending three strikes?, Texas is set to make capital punishment history, Granbury family hits reset on tornado-wrecked Habitat home and more.
Almost eleven hours of filibuster, countless gallery outbursts and perhaps millions of live tweets colored Wendy Davis’ attempt to block a senate bill designed to restrict abortion. While her filibuster itself didn’t make it past midnight, chaos in the chamber did, which nullified a vote on Senate Bill 5. So what were the technicalities that ended Davis’ filibuster before the clock struck 12?
Texas has tough rules when it comes to filibustering. According to the Washington Post, you have to stand without leaning on a table or podium and you have to speak continuously on a subject germane to the issue at hand. Three strikes and you’re out. Two of Davis’ three were given because she strayed slightly off topic, mentioning Planned Parenthood’s budget and a 2011 sonogram law passed in Texas. The other strike was issued when a colleague helped adjust Davis’ back brace, as the video shows below.
- 27 Years Of Twists And Turns: In November of 2005, Texas became the 19th state in the nation to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. With the supreme court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act this morning and a decision on California's Proposition 8 looming, it’s interesting to look back at our nation’s history of handling same sex marriage and the benefits tied to the institution. From President Clinton’s signature of DOMA back in 1996 to today’s ruling, check out CNN’s detailed timeline here.
- A Grim Milestone: The State of Texas is set to perform its 500th execution tonight in Huntsville, assuming all goes as planned. Kimberly McCarthy was convicted of the 1997 robbery and fatal stabbing a retired college psychology professor in Lancaster. McCarthy had asked Dorothy Booth for a cup of sugar before attacking her with a butcher knife. Texas has carried out nearly 40 percent of the more than 1,300 executions in U.S. since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. McCarthy would be the first woman executed in the U.S. since 2010. [AP via NPR]
- Army Spreads Cuts To Balance Burden: Two wars are winding down and steep spending cuts are forcing the Army to get rid of combat brigades. And while some posts will feel the cuts more sharply than others, the Army is trying to spread the downsizing around. Twelve combat brigades will disappear as part of a long term plan to reduce the Army by 80,000. Texas’ Fort Bliss and Fort Hood are losing brigades but many of those troops are being reassigned so the posts should suffer net losses of less than 10 percent. [AP via NPR]
- Tornado Forces Redo, But Habitat Won’t Give Up: The May 15 tornado in Granbury leveled more than 100 homes, including dozens of Habitat For Humanity houses. Olga Hernandez hadn’t even gotten the opportunity to move into hers before it was flattened, but she’ll get another chance at a housewarming thanks to a Habitat blitz build that kicked off this morning. According to the Dallas Morning News, two dozen volunteers will work four days a week for three weeks until the house is move-in ready once again.