This afternoon the opponents of Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance were dealt 2 blows in their efforts to repeal HERO.
First, the 14th Court of Appeals would not hear the opponents case and referred them back to the state district court. Anti-HERO activists had filed in the appeals court hoping that they might draw a more conservative judge who would be more favorable to their side.
Then, this afternoon the 152nd District Court held a hearing to address the temporary restraining order (TRO) that the opposition was requesting to stop HERO from being implemented.
To be clear, when the city rejected the opposition's petitions, Mayor Parker announced she would not implement the ordinance in anticipation of a legal challenge - so the opponents were asking the court to do something that was, effectively, already done by Mayor Parker.
When today's hearing began Judge Schaffer asked the HERO opponents what they were specifically asking for.
They answered: A TRO preventing HERO from being implemented and a ruling forcing council to either repeal HERO in its entirety, or a vote by council to place it on the November 2014 ballot.
At the end of today's hearing, the opponent's withdrew their request for a TRO, and their request to force council to act to repeal or place HERO on the November 2014 ballot was not granted.
HERO will be going to trial on January 19th, 2015.
This means at the earliest, depending on the outcome of the trial, HERO cannot be on the ballot until November of 2015.
Anti-HERO activists went into court today to get 3 things and they failed to win any of them.
What this means is that we, as supporters of HERO, have been given the time we need to continue education about what HERO truly does.
The opposition will try to spin today's court decisions as a victory for their side, but by every measurable standard they walked away from 2 separate courts having gotten nothing that they asked for.
Take a look at coverage of today's court decision below:
Foes drop TRO bid to force ERO ordinance to November ballot
Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to Stay Off Ballot for Now