Third District Court Of Appeals

The Crestview neighborhood
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A state appeals court has declared some elements of Austin's rules governing short-term rentals unconstitutional, including provisions banning non-owner-occupied rentals and occupancy limits.

Image courtesy of txcourts.gov

There are more than 3,000 judges in Texas - and in the Lone Star state, they are elected. In the midterm elections, Democrats took control from Republicans in four of the state's 14 appeals courts. Will Texans notice this shift in the balance of power? 

Matt Largey, KUT News

Tom DeLay's legal team was in an Austin appeals court this morning, arguing that the former U.S. House Majority Leader could not be guilty of money laundering because as they said, "checks aren't funds."

DeLay was convicted in 2010, on charges that he conspired to funnel $190,000 in corporate contributions to Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature. Candidates for state office are barred from accepting corporate donations. The money was given by corporate donors to the Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee in 2002, which then sent the money to the Republican National Committee.The RNC then distributed an equal amount to candidates for the Texas House. 

DeLay could spend three years in prison, if his conviction stands.

At issue at today's hearing was how to read state law at the time. Delay's lawyers argue the law does not specify checks as a form of funds that can be used to launder money.

Image courtesy bloomsberries http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabliaux/

A Travis County lesbian couple who were married in Massachusetts cannot have their divorce blocked by Attorney General Greg Abbott, Texas' 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled today.  (Read the decision here.)