Supreme Court rejects offer by Texas Democrats to allow all residents to vote by mail

The Supreme Court declined to reinstate an earlier district court ruling that required Texas officials to mail ballots to all voters in the state.

The superior court on Friday rejected a request by the Texas Democratic Party to overturn a decision issued by a panel of judges at the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which suspended an order of the district court extending the provisions of vote by mail to Texans.

“The request for unemployment presented before Judge Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied,” said the rejection of the Supreme Court.

Liberal associate judge Sonia Sotomayor, nominated for Obama, did not disagree with the high court’s determination, but noted that the case raises notable questions about the 26th Amendment to the Constitution.

“This request raises important but seemingly novel questions regarding the Twenty-Sixth Amendment,” he wrote in a statement. “I do not disagree with the decision to refrain from addressing them for the first time here, in the context of an emergency request to cancel the suspension of an interim measure. But I hope that the Court of Appeals will consider the merits of legal matters in this case long before the November elections. “

Federal District Judge Fred Biery ruled against Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration in May, writing that “in pandemic circumstances” all Texas voters are eligible to request ballots by mail for the next state primary and general election. .

“For those who have recently woken up from a Rip Van Winkle dream, the entire world has no immunity and is terribly disabled,” Biery wrote in his decision.

The decision was appealed by the state’s Republican leaders, and a panel of judges at the United States Fifth Circuit Court unanimously decided that the election decision should be left to Texas officials. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that Biery’s decision posed “irreparable injury” to Texas “by injecting substantial confusion into the Texas voting process just days before the ballots were distributed and weeks before the election second round. “

The higher court decision means that the Texas rules for qualifying for the ballots will remain in effect for the July 14 second round primary elections.

Texas Democratic Party President Gilberto Hinojosa said he was “disappointed” that the Supreme Court did not “provide the necessary relief and clarity” for voters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has not intervened now and provides the necessary relief and clarity for voters before the second round,” said Hinojosa. “The case continues in other filings with the United States Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit and, therefore, there remains the hope that federal courts will restore equal voting rights in time for the November elections.”