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Top Morning Stories 2/7/12: Redistricting Map Rejected, Sonogram Law Proceeds, UT Beats A&M

A judge has rejected the Texas Attorney General's latest redistricting proposal, launching another round of discussion and scrutiny.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune
A judge has rejected the Texas Attorney General's latest redistricting proposal, launching another round of discussion and scrutiny.

Latest Redistricting Proposal Rejected

Late Monday, Federal Judge Orlando Garcia said there’s not enough support for Attorney General Greg Abbott’s proposed agreement with some of the minority groups involved in the redistricting lawsuit. He asked the groups to continue discussing the maps.

Minority groups argue that the redistricting maps, drawn by the Texas Legislature in 2011, dilute minority voting power. The rejected proposal would have enabled Hispanics to elect two of the four congressional seats that Texas gained after the 2010 census.

The San Antonio judges have said that if an agreement could not be made by February 6, Texas’ April 3 primary would be delayed. The primary has already been delayed once.

Challenge to Texas Sonogram Law Dismissed

According to the Austin American-Statesman, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the Texas sonogram law on Monday.

Though Sparks considers the law to be unconstitutional, he was required to uphold the decision made by the New Orleans-based court of appeals which ruled in favor of the law. A letter posted on the Department of State Health Services’ website on Monday, by state regulators, directed abortion providers they must begin enforcing the sonogram law immediately.

The law requires doctors to show women the sonogram as well as play sounds of the heartbeat and describe features of the fetus at least 24 hours before an abortion. The Texas Tribune has more on the rules, including some exceptions to the law.

Bond Development Open House Tonight

The City of Austin is holding an open house tonight for people to learn more about its bond development process and guiding principles. The meeting will be held at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Free parking will be available in the garage.

People will have the opportunity to provide input on priorities and community needs for bond proposals.

On May 2012, the Bond Election Advisory Task Force will provide the City Council with recommendations to consider when putting together the potential bond package.

More information about the Bond Development is available on the City of Austin website.

University of Texas beats Texas A&M in College Station

With less than a minute on the clock, J’Covan Brown finished the game against Texas A&M with a layup and two free throws, giving Texas the win with a final score of 70-68, the Associated Press reports.

Texas now holds a 137-85 lead in its all-time series against Texas A&M.

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