[Update: As noted on the Texas Appellate Law blog, the Third Court issued two orders on Friday, which together cancelled this argument and denied the emergency stay.]

As speculated here and elsewhere earlier, a petition for writ of mandamus was filed yesterday challenging the trial court’s handling of the initial hearing, and the Austin Court immediately scheduled the pending motion for temporary relief for oral argument next Wednesday at 2:00PM. The docket sheet is here. The Court’s order setting the expedited briefing and argument schedule is here. (( The order suggests that Wednesday’s oral argument will be about the stay motion, not the ultimate merits. In this context, however, I’m not sure there is much difference. ))

The newspaper quotes counsel for the relators (Robert Doggett of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid) as saying:

“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the court of appeals failure to act timely,” said Doggett, an attorney representing 48 mothers in the case. He said “having a hearing after the fact” was pointless.

While I’m sure he would have liked immediate relief, I would bet he’s pretty happy to get this response. Having an oral-argument scheduled so quickly is extraordinary.

Other coverage: Texas Appellate Law Blog :: Texas Rural Legal Aid Press Release