Here are the top political headlines from Austin, Washington and Dallas. If you’d like to receive this newsletter, Political Points, in your inbox, sign up here.
Points from Washington
1. Capitol Hill was abuzz on Wednesday, the first day of Democrats’ public impeachment hearings. A top U.S. diplomat offered new evidence that President Donald Trump sought to pressure Ukraine to investigate one of the president’s political rivals, providing a dramatic twist.
William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, said one of his aides in July overheard a call in which Trump asked another key U.S. diplomat for an update on the “investigations,” including a probe into former Vice President Joe Biden over Biden’s son’s business dealings.
2. The fate of some 680,000 beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is now in the hands of the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, the justices weighed the Trump administration’s decision to wind down the Obama-era program that was created in 2012 to shield some unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and grant them work authorization.
But the question before the court wasn’t whether Trump has the authority to end DACA — it’s whether he has the authority to end it the way he did.
3. Hispanic lawmakers from Texas and around the country blasted Trump as a bigot Tuesday, as he dusted off a provocative claim that many young immigrants protected from deportation under DACA were “hardened criminals.”
4. A Trump administration official from Dallas used a fake Time magazine cover to show off her nonprofit’s work and embellished other aspects of her education and accomplishments, according to an NBC News investigation.
Points from Austin
1. Students and educators say an African American Studies course in Texas is long overdue, and the State Board of Education appeared to agree during its meeting Wednesday.
The board is considering expanding a course developed in Dallas ISD to classrooms across the state. If given final approval in April, it could be offered in schools as soon as next fall.
2. A foster-care provider that operates several cottage homes in Hunt County appears to be the lone holdout that’s delaying state compliance with a federal judge’s orders on nighttime watches of foster children in group settings.
U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack on Wednesday ordered the state to have the director of Boles Children’s Home appear before her in court in Dallas on Monday afternoon. And the longer the state is out of compliance, the more fines it will have to pay.
Points from Dallas
1. Seeking justice for Diamond Ross’ death, family members Tuesday night spoke in front of the Community Police Oversight Board meeting at Dallas City Hall.
Ross’ niece and cousin told board members at the public hearing about the mistreatment of Ross in police custody — including bruises on her body — and their demand for answers.
“Don’t make this a dog-and-pony show,” said Obra Henry, Ross’ cousin. “Do something about it. Make your people liable for what they did.”
2. Dallas sheltered hundreds from freezing temperatures Monday and Tuesday nights when they opened the downtown convention center to the homeless — but some faith leaders worry that the background checks and warrant arrests could leave some living on the streets unwilling to seek help in the future.
3. The Dallas City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved an amended contract with VisitDallas intended to resolve significant concerns raised by an audit released earlier this year.
But several council members made it clear they remain unhappy with VisitDallas, noting a lack of transparency and a refusal to answer questions about executives’ salaries.