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


SB4 in Court:

Attorneys for Texas asked a federal appeals court to let the state’s new sanctuary cities law take effect immediately. It comes after a federal judge in San Antonio blocked most of the law just before it was set to take effect September 1st.

Attorneys representing a group of cities suing to stop what’s also known as SB4, say it violates the Fourth Amendment by requiring police to detain individuals who are suspected of being in the country illegally without probable cause.

They want the temporary hold on the law to continue while it plays out in courts.

Before the proceedings began, around 100 protesters gathered outside the courthouse. Among them were state and local elected officials.

“We’re continuing the fight to stop this law which is really a racial profiling, anti-immigrant, anti-job bill,” Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, said.

The state argues it’s about public safety — and that it has the authority to mandate that local law enforcement cooperate with federal officials.

In a statement, Attorney General Ken Paxton said:

“We delivered a strong case for allowing Senate Bill 4 to take effect…Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into Texas communities.”

The judges didn’t give any indication on when they will rule on today’s matter. Meanwhile, a full hearing on the law is schedule for November 6th.

Join us at 7 to hear more on today’s arguments from retired UT Austin clinical law professor Barbara Hines.


Reporter Roundtable:

Bob Garrett of the Dallas Morning News and John Gravois of the Houston Chronicle join our reporter roundtable to give their take on the SB4 arguments. We also discuss the latest Harvey rebuilding efforts and where most of the state costs are expected to fall.


War of Words:

Deranged — mad man — those are the terms being thrown back and forth between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after President Trump’s Speech to the U.N. General Assembly sparked the latest escalation in a war of words between the two leaders.

But will the rising rhetoric lead to something more grave? We’ll have a full report at 7pm.


Sen. Cornyn Responds to North Korea and Health Care Bill:

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, says he’s glad the President is putting pressure on Kim Jung Un. But he told reporters today he’s unaware of the “war of words” between the two.

“I don’t know if that helps impress Kim Jong Un with the seriousness of what he’s doing, discourages him. My sense is that he doesn’t really care what anybody says or does because this is about his survival, survival of the regime,” Cornyn said.

The senator was asked about the conflict after an event honoring an Austin police officer today.

Cornyn’s a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and says the threat North Korea poses is substantial. He says it’s important the US not turn its head and let an individual threaten any of our allies.

The senator was also asked about the fate of the latest GOP health care bill. He called it a work in progress but expects a vote on it next week.

Cornyn’s comments came shortly before Sen. John McCain announced he’s a no vote on the bill. McCain’s opposition likely keeps it from passing.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7pm on Spectrum News.


Posted by Karina Kling