Texpatriate has learned that a District Court Judge in Houston has approved a request for a temporary restraining order enjoining enforcement of a recent policy to give full spousal benefits to the same-sex spouses of municipal employees. Just earlier today, we noted that the Harris County Republican Party had sued the City of Houston over the new policy. In a summary ruling before Judge Lisa Millard, enforcement of the measure (which has already gone into effect) is blocked until a hearing may be held on it on January 6th of next year. No word yet on what this means for those couples who have already received the benefits; the Mayor’s office has not released any statement as of press time.
The order, from Judge Lisa Millard of the 310th Family District Court, contends that there is a strong case to be made that plaintiffs (in this case, the HCRP) that they were suffer irrevocable harm if the policy is allowed to continue. Again, I don’t see how in the world these people have standing, as they do not work for the City of Houston. Another interest perspective is that Judge Millard is elected in a partisan election where she affiliates as a Republican, meaning that she is a member in the HCRP, the same organization now with a suit before her court. I should think this would present an argument to relocate the proceedings to either a judge in Harris County NOT affiliated with the HCRP or one from another County.