Texas: Federal Judge Again Blocks Defense of Houston Anti-Camera Vote

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper
texas federal judge again blocks defense of houston anti camera vote

On Sunday red light cameras will begin issuing citations once again in Houston, Texas despite the election result of November where a majority demanded the devices be taken down. US District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes continues to deny the ability of the sponsors of the anti-camera initiative, Randall Kubosh and Francis M. Kubosh, to defend their effort against an election challenge mounted by American Traffic Solutions (ATS). Hughes on Wednesday ordered several legal arguments by the Kuboshes erased from the record.

“In court pleadings, the Kuboshes may not denominate themselves as intervenors, counter-defendants, third-party defendants, respondents, or anything else that they are not,” Hughes wrote in a separate July 7 order striking another legal brief. “In public, they may call themselves whatever they want.”

The Kuboshes supplied the prohibited legal filings to supplement the record because they believe the city of Houston is intentionally losing the case it filed against ATS in order to save the cameras. The speed with which the cameras resumed ticketing before the case is even over offers evidence for this theory. The Kuboshes also provided legal arguments and state law citations that the city refused to make regarding the validity of the contract. Doing so would have impaired the city’s ability to reactive the cameras. Judge Hughes specifically invited such filings in a December 12 order.

“Positions inadequately argued by the city may be brought to the court’s consideration by the Kuboshes as friends of the court, and should the court perceive anything like abandoned duty, it would simply invite their intervention,” Hughes wrote.

Under Texas law, courts must permit the intervention of a qualified voter to defend a measure election in an election contest. The Kuboshes have appealed Hughes’ refusal to allow intervention to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. A number of Texans expressed disgust with the actions of Hughes in messages sent to his official email address and made part of the official record.

“Shame on you if you allow the city of Houston and the Arizona-based company that runs the camera program to circumvent the vote of the people,” Diane Robertson wrote in December. “The people’s lawyers should have been heard in this case too — the city is biased in that they are losing money because of this vote. I don’t care what they expound on the news — this is a backdoor way of trying to reinstate the camera program.”

The reinstatement effort succeeded after Hughes’ June order nullifying the election ( view order).

“As a registered voter in Harris County, I feel my rights as a citizen have been violated,” Doug Kimbro wrote on July 10. “I feel you have taken away my right to vote. I am very disappointed as an American citizen.”

Hughes has not entered a final order in the case. He has refused to give leave for appeals until after he decides on several contractual issues between Houston and ATS.

“Isn’t His Honor fortunate that you do not stand for election since you have such little regard for them,” Houston resident Ken Bailey wrote in November.

[Courtesy: Thenewspaper.com]

Join the conversation
3 of 8 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Jul 22, 2011

    One word for all this : paintball When all else fails..........

  • Obbop Obbop on Jul 22, 2011

    Too many variables to allow a generalized accurate statement BUT... since when did that prohibit the Disgruntled One from babbling akin to a putrid politico? Not often. Respect a guy wearing a dress? Gotta' have "law" in order to escape general mayhem and allow some order amongst the human herd but whenever humans are involved with anything AMPLE screw-ups are to be expected, perhaps becoming the norm.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.