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Clarence Thomas admits he should have disclosed trips from Harlan Crow

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by By Alex Mierjeski, Joshua Kaplan and Justin Elliott, ProPublica, The – 2024-06-07 16:06:12

SUMMARY: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently acknowledged in a financial disclosure that he failed to report two vacations from billionaire Harlan Crow in 2019. These trips were first reported by ProPublica, which has documented various undisclosed luxury gifts Thomas received from wealthy benefactors. Previously, Thomas argued that he was not required to disclose such gifts, characterizing his omissions as inadvertent errors. The revelations have intensified scrutiny on the Supreme Court's ethics, leading to the adoption of a conduct code without enforcement mechanisms. Despite past amendments and external reviews of his filings, concerns about Thomas's disclosure practices persist.

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Texas Medical Board adopts abortion guidance

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by By Eleanor Klibanoff, The – 2024-06-21 11:37:24

SUMMARY: The Texas Medical Board has issued new guidance on interpreting the state's abortion laws. The guidelines reduce paperwork but do not specify conditions under which abortions are legal. The Board, responding to concerns from doctors and others, removed a controversial provision about patient transfers. Board Chair Dr. Sherif Zaafran noted that some issues remain unaddressed and emphasized that the board lacks authority to fully resolve them. The guidance mainly details documentation requirements and asserts that doctors can act before a medical emergency becomes imminent. Despite some revisions, critics argue the guidance is still vague and may lead to legal challenges.

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SCOTUS allows gun restrictions on domestic violence suspects

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by By William Melhado, The – 2024-06-21 09:37:13

SUMMARY: In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that protective orders can bar those accused of domestic violence from owning firearms. The case involved Zackey Rahimi, a Texan who argued that restricting firearm access under a domestic violence order was unconstitutional. The ruling overturned a 5th U.S. Circuit Court decision which had favored Rahimi, emphasizing that such firearm laws are consistent with historical regulations preventing harm. Advocates stress that gun presence in domestic violence situations increases homicide risk by 500%. Domestic violence incidents and related homicides in Texas have surged, highlighting the ruling's significance.

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The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Fewer Texas students complete FAFSA after bungled rollout

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by By Sneha Dey, Data reporting by Elijah Nicholson-Messmer, The – 2024-06-21 05:00:00

SUMMARY: Many Texas high school graduates are entering summer without completing the FAFSA, crucial for seeking college financial aid. A revamped form introduced complications, delaying colleges' financial aid timelines. As of June 7, FAFSA completion rates among Texas graduates dropped by 8.8 percentage points, affecting nearly 30,000 students, a sharper decline than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts like Bill DeBaun and Bryan Ashton express concerns that fewer FAFSA submissions will reduce college enrollment, especially among low-income students. Despite this, Texas maintains high completion rates due to a 2021 law requiring FAFSA submission for high school graduation. The challenges may additionally cause “summer melt.”

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