What are the implications of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr.?

Benjamin Wermund of The Houston Chronicle writes:

Judge decides on UH veterans tuition benefits

In a ruling that could add to Texas universities’ financial challenges, a judge on Monday struck down a clause in a state law limiting veterans’ tuition benefits to those who enlisted in the military while living in Texas.

U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. ordered the University of Houston not to exclude the plaintiff, Keith Harris, from benefits under the Texas Hazlewood Act solely because he enlisted in the Army while living outside Texas.

The Hazlewood Act provides tuition and fee exemptions from state public universities for military veterans, their spouses and their children. The clause in question limits the benefits to veterans who were Texas residents when they enlisted, but Ewing found that this provision violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Texas may not discriminate against its more recent residents in favor of more established residents simply to control costs,” Werlein wrote in his ruling, which cites three Supreme Court rulings against similar requirements in other states.