MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Water Logged

As Houston and southeast Texas slowly recovers from the damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, one group of Houston homeowners and businesses is already looking to hold someone accountable for their flood-damaged properties. According to the Houston Chronicle, the group sued the federal government on Tuesday, alleging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers knowingly condemned their properties when it released water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs in West Houston. Civil attorney Bryant Banes, whose home flooded even after the waters from Harvey started to recede, is looking for billions of dollars in compensation in what he hopes will turn into a massive class-action lawsuit for homeowners, building managers, and business owners in the area affected by the controlled release from the reservoirs. Banes told the Chronicle that he’s not accusing the government of doing anything wrong when it opened up the dams as a flood control measure, but he said he does believe the government should reimburse residents for the damage it caused by flooding their previously dry homes and businesses. “When they make a choice to flood one area to save another, it’s their responsibility to pay for the consequences,” Banes told the Chronicle.

Long Absence

The NFL upheld its original six-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott on Tuesday. Last month, the NFL announced it had suspended Elliott for six games, stemming from domestic abuse allegations made against the star running back. The NFL said it had “persuasive” evidence that Elliott committed physical abuse against his ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson at least three times in July 2016, violating the league’s personal conduct policy, according to ESPN. No criminal charges have been filed against Elliott. The second-year pro appealed the decision immediately. A hearing in New York last week went on for three days, with lengthy testimony from Elliott and multiple experts and witnesses, not including Thompson. Despite the decision to uphold Elliott’s suspension, he’ll still be eligible to play in the team’s season opener this Sunday. Elliott led the league in rushing last season with 1,631 yards.

ID OK

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Texas can keep its voter ID law in place for the upcoming November elections, Politico first reported Tuesdaynight. Last month, a different federal judge scrapped Senate Bill 5—the Texas Legislature’s attempt to soften the original voter ID law—writing that the state still failed to fix what the judge said was an intentionally discriminatory ID law. But the U.S. Department of Justice appealed that ruling, and while the appellate court’s three-judge panel split in the 2-1 ruling, it decided to at least let the state use the revised ID law until the courts can completely sort out the appeals process. Judges Jerry Smith and Jennifer Elrod wrote that Texas “has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits,” adding that Texas also “made a strong showing that this reasonable-impediment procedure remedies plaintiffs’ alleged harm and thus forecloses plaintiffs’ injunctive relief.” According to Politico, this could prompt civil rights groups involved in the lawsuit to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block the revised voter ID law through November’s elections.