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Chad’s Morning Brief: Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas’ Ban on Gay Marriage, Court Rules Warrant Is Needed to Search Cellphones, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 27, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images 

Gay Marriage in Texas

The battle over Gay Marriage in Texas continues and yesterday gay marriage advocates had a victory. As the Star-Telegram points out though, yesterday’s ruling isn’t the end of the debate.

 

A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Presiding U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia is the latest federal judge in a Republican state to rule against a ban on same-sex marriage. The decisions follow last year’s Supreme Court case U.S. v. Windsor, which required the federal government — but not states — to recognize same-sex marriages.

In the ruling, he wrote that the ban “violates plaintiffs’ equal protection and due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.” Though he struck down the ban, he has stayed the effect of the ruling, meaning same-sex couples will not immediately be able to get married in Texas.

Another federal court in Austin has pending cases challenging the ban.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, who was a defendant in the case, along with Gov. Rick Perry, said in a statement that he will appeal Garcia’s decision, adding that it “should be overturned and the Texas Constitution will be upheld.”

On the issue of gay marriage, Abbott said that “there are good, well-meaning people on both sides” and that it “will ultimately be resolved by a higher court.”

State Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, Abbott’s likely Democratic opponent in the governor’s race, also weighed in: “I believe that all Texans who love one another and are committed to spending their lives together should be allowed to marry.”

Davis has previously voiced support for same-sex marriage on the campaign trail.

Perry, meanwhile, issued this statement: “Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens.”

He added that “the 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions.”

The case, heard in San Antonio federal court, challenged the legitimacy of Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. It is one of several cases being heard in courts statewide, a venue where gay-rights activists say their odds of winning legal protections are far better than in the conservative Legislature. 

Warrant Needed

Another ruling yesterday in Texas was a victory for those concerned about privacy. According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, the Texas Court of Appeals ruled that investigators must have search warrants to search cellphones.

The state’s top criminal appeals court has ruled that investigators must have search warrants to search the cellphones of suspects and other persons of interest.

The 8-1 ruling Wednesday of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a lower-court order in the case of a Huntsville student arrested and charged with a minor misdemeanor over a disturbance aboard a school bus.

According to court documents, his cellphone was confiscated and placed in the jail property room. A Huntsville police officer later examined its contents without a warrant and found an image of another student urinating in a boys’ restroom at school. The suspect was then charged with a state-jail felony of improper photography, and his attorney filed a motion to suppress the cellphone and the image.

There has been a back and forth in Texas over this issue. In my opinion, police should have to obtain a warrant to search your phone.

Other Top Stories:

Victor Hernandez Plays the Race Card Over Abbott Visit

Speed Cameras Coming to Lubbock County?

Texans More Bullish on State Than Nation

Eyebrow Threading Regulation

Obamacare May Increase Premiums

Immigration Groups Want Obama to Act Alone

Cruz: Republicans Don’t Get It 

Midland Park Mall Bans Guns 

Rand Paul the Early Front-Runner? 

Mandatory Parenting Classes? 

Planned Parenthood’s 2014 Plans

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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