Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview - 3/25/15

Posted by Rich PhillipsOn Wednesday, March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of Texas will hear argument in two cases. You can watch the arguments (either live or recorded) here.No. 13-0745, Greater Houston Partnership v. Paxton – This dispute arises from a request for the records of the Greater Houston Partnership. The primary issue is whether the Greater Houston Partnership is a “governmental body” for the purposes of the Texas Public Information Act. Although it is a private corporation, the Greater Houston Partnership receives public funds through a contract with the City of Houston. The Greater Houston Partnership contends that the reach of the Public Information Act should be limited to entities that provide governmental services. The Attorney General responds that this construction is too narrow and would frustrate the act’s purpose.No. 13-0867, Beeman v. Livingston – This case challenges the lack of accommodations for deaf inmates by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Petitioners argue that the Department is required by Texas law to provide equipment necessary for them to use the prison telephone system and sign-language interpreters for Department programs. The court of appeals held that prisons are not “public facilities” for purposes of the applicable statute and that the petitioners could not overcome the Department’s sovereign immunity.[Updated because the argument No. 13-0768, BCA Appeals Group, Inc. v. City of Houston has been postponed]