Our daily digest is a mid-day update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re watching:


Same-sex marriage benefits ruling:

The Texas Supreme Court has thrown out a lower court ruling that said gay spouses are legally entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits. The state high court unanimously ordered a trial court to reconsider a case challenging Houston’s benefits policy.

Friday’s decision is a major reversal for the all-Republican high court. It had previously refused to even consider the case after the US Supreme Court ruled on gay marriage. In their decision, justices suggested a landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits.


“I’m extremely pleased that the Texas Supreme Court recognized that Texas law is still important when it comes to marriage,” Attorney General Paxton said in a statement. “While the U.S. Supreme Court declared a right to same-sex marriage, that ruling did not resolve all legal issues related to marriage.” According to the Texas Supreme Court, “Mr. Pidgeon and the Mayor, like many other litigants throughout the country, must now assist the courts in fully exploring Obergefell’s reach and ramifications, and are entitled to the opportunity to do so.”


Meanwhile, Equality Texas issued a statement saying the court’s decision marked a “sad day for Texas.”

“The Texas Supreme Court’s opinion today in the Pidgeon case clings to unconstitutional notions of “separate but equal” that were long ago laid to rest in this nation. The justices’ holding that Obergefell v. Hodges does not require equal treatment under the law for LGBT married couples is patently indefensible. This is a sad day for Texas as our highest court joins the ranks of Mississippi and Arkansas in refusing to abide by the Constitution’s mandate to recognize the dignity and equality of all persons. Equality Texas is hopeful that the City of Houston will appeal this horrendous decision to the United States Supreme Court in order to ensure equality for the marriages of all Texans.”


We will have more reaction to the Texas Supreme Court decision tonight at 7pm.


Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, pleads ‘unequivocally not guilty’

Rep. Dawnna Dukes was back in court Friday. She said she’s not guilty in her public corruption case and says she has no interest in accepting a plea deal. Hear from the embattled Dukes and whether she thinks she’ll run for reelection tonight at 7pm.


Plus, Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune, Sean Walsh of the Austin American-Statesman and James Barragan with the Dallas Morning News join our reporter roundtable. Hear their take on the benefits case, the sanctuary cities court battle this week and the latest on Paxton’s securities fraud case.


Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas will also be in to put Energy Secretary Rick Perry and State Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, to the truth-o-meter.


On the national level, our Washington, DC reporter Alberto Pimienta is following the latest fallout after President Trump’s tweets about MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts.


Watch Capital Tonight at 7pm.


Posted by Karina Kling