Newspaper clipping headlined, "To assist in TDC appeal White hires private law firm," July 14, 1981
Newspaper clipping from the Houston Post by Tom Nelson headlined, "To assist in TDC appeal White hires private law firm," July 14, 1981, regarding Ruiz v. Estelle lawsuit against the Texas Department of Corrections.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Texas. Department of CorrectionsTexas. Board of Corrections
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
General Counsel | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Ruiz v EstelleMark White
Clements Texas Papers
Aft Grant funds include • Prairie View A&M WASHINGTON (AP) — The House without objection Monday approved a $10 million yearly financing program that will benefit agricultural research at 17 colleges originally set up for black 3tudents, including Prairie View A&M University in Texas. "It's an attempt to catch up, to up- grade their research faculties," said Rep. Eligio "Kika." de la Garza, D- . Texas, chairman of the Agriculture Committee. The bill, which now goes to the Sen- ate, earmarks $10 million a year for the next five years for research at those schools in an attempt to make them "full partners with other land grant col- leges and institutions in cooperative federal-statt. tesearch programs." "These institutions have never receiv-. , , ed the support envisioned," said Rep. William Thomas, R-Calif. - De la Garza said the Reagan adminis- tration has endorsed the proposal. In addition to Prairie View, schools benefiting from the bill would be Ala- bama A&M University and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Delaware State College, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State College in Georgia, Ken- tucky State University, Southern Univer- sity in Louisiana, the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Alcorn State University in Mississippi, Lincoln University in Missouri, North Carolina ,A&T State University, Langston Univer- .sity in Oklahoma, South Carolina State College, Tennessee State University, and 'Virginia State University. To assist in TDC appeal CV f 4 A- et, • he hires private law firm By TOM NELSON -Post Reporter gAVASOTA — Pushed by Gov. Bill Cle- ments and the nine-member Texas Board of Corrections, lexas Attorney General Mark White has hired the Houston law firm Ful- bright & Jaworski to assist the state in ap- pealing a federal court order mandating 'extensive operation and policy changes in the Texas Department of Corrections. the TDC board voted unanimously here Monday to pay Fulbright & Jaworski legal fees, estimated by chairman T. Louis Austin Jr..of Dallas at about $200,000 if the case is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. WHITE, WHO MET WITH the board pri- vately for an hour and 15 minutes, said he did not expect the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Ap- peals to hear appeal arguments until fall or early next year, depending on the court's briefing schedule. White said the case probably would not be heard by the Supreme Court until the fall of 198Z. Austin acknowledged that White "reluc- tantly agreed" to hire a private law firm and that- negotiations had been in progress for several months. He said several firms con- tacted could not take the case because of a conflict of interest in that they represented TDC inmates. 'Austin said the board wanted a prestigious state law firm to assist the attorney general's office in appealing the sweeping reform order of U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice because the case is important to the taxpayers. "WE WANT NO STONE UNTURNED," Austin said. "As far as rm concerned, and I think I speak for the full board, (White is) doing a good job. The attorney general and his staff have full responsibility for the ap- peal. He calls all the shots." In a prepared statement, Clements said he was "extremely pleased" that White retained "highly competent outside counsel to assist in the appeal of this important litigation." Noting that he had urged White to hire a private law firm to represent the state, Cle- ments said, "I am now, more than ever, confident that some of Judge Justice's more unreasonable orders will be overturned — to the benefit of Texas taxpayers. - "Meanwhile, we will move along on sched- ule toward easing overcrowded conditions in the prison system and improving our reha- bilitation programs." TDC Director J.W. "Jim" Estelle Jr. said neither he nor his staff are dissatisfied with the attorney general's work on the case and that he is pleased to have additional re- sources to prepare the appeaL AY-TEX CLEMENTS AND THE prison board expressed concern about White's han- dling of the appeal, White hired two addition- al lawyers and four law clerks to work on the complex A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit stayed several key portions of Judge Jus- tice's order last month, including limiting prison units to 500 inmates, single ceiling of inmates and the establishment of community correctional facilities. /-(otd,c-ro Igo However, major portions of the order were left intact by the judges, such as the elimina- tion of three men to a cell, doubling the num- ber of correctional officers, elimination of In- mate building tenders and setting up detailed procedures for disciplining inmates. The so-called Ruiz case, filed by inmate bavid Ruiz and seven other inmates, brought the U.S. Department of Justice into the suit as an intervenor on behalf of the inmates, who, claimed the prison system inflicter "cruel and unusual punishment." THE TRIAL OF THE CLASS action suit began in October 19'78 in Houston and ended almost a year later.. Estelle told the board that housing three men to a cell will end by Aug. 1. He said about 1,500 men are now sleeping on the floor In cells designed for one. There were almost 3,000 an the floor a month ago. Estelle said triple ceiling will be eliminat- ed by moving inmates to about 280 eight-man tents, transferring 600 males to the Goree Unit, where all women prisoners were -noved to Gatesville two weeks ago, and ha. sing in- mates in other facilities, including gymnasi- ums and temporary buildings. In other action, Estelle said the TDC for the first time in its history will recruit offi- cers from outside the state. The first efforts will be in states ,which have experienced prison unrest, said board member Harry M. Whittington, a Dallas lawyer. Under Justice's order, the TDC must add NO guards by Nov. 1. Correction officers, who have completed probation, will receive a $300-a-month raise Sept. 1, Estelle said.