Supreme Court Declines to Force Texas Officials to Expand Mail-In Voting

June 26, 2020 by Dan McCue
The Supreme Court building. March 4, 2020. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Friday evening decline to force Texas officials to offer mail-in ballots to all voters in the state because of the threat posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The court’s order is the latest development in a weeks-long battle between Texas Democrats and state Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, over voting during the pandemic.

The Democrats argue that people shouldn’t have to choose between their right to vote and their health. Paxton maintains that expanding access to vote-by-mail could lead to voter fraud.

State regulations allow vote by mail to those who are 65 and older, voters who have a sickness or physical condition from appearing at the polls, and others who are absent from the county.

In May, a district court held that in light of the pandemic, all voters in Texas could take part in no-excuse vote by mail. The judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the provision. But then on June 4, a federal appeals court blocked that ruling, pending appeal.

Hoping the justices would reinstate the district judge’s order, the Texas Democrats submitted a request to vacate the stay to Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., who oversees emergency requests from that region of the country.

As is their custom, the justices did not explain their rationale for not hearing the case, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote  that she thought the application raised “weighty but seemingly novel questions” regarding the 26th amendment that she hoped a court of appeals would consider “well in advance” of the November election.

In a statement Friday night, Paxton said, “I applaud the Supreme Court for following the law and refusing to order mail-in balloting that the Texas Legislature has forbidden.”

“Universal mail-in ballots, which are notoriously vulnerable to fraud, would only lead to greater election fraud and disenfranchise lawful voters,” Paxton said. “State election officials have many options available to safely and securely hold elections without risking widespread fraud. My office will continue to fight for safe, free and fair elections.”  

In The News

Health

Voting

Political News

State Redistricting Deadlines
Redistricting
State Redistricting Deadlines
February 12, 2021
by TWN Staff

Title 13 of the United States Code requires the secretary of commerce to provide governors and the officials responsible for redistricting in each state with the census results. As a general rule, legislative and congressional redistricting must be completed before filing deadlines for the next primary... Read More

Subcommittee Assignments Give Murphy Strong Voice on National Security, COVID-19 Relief, and Trade
Congress
Subcommittee Assignments Give Murphy Strong Voice on National Security, COVID-19 Relief, and Trade
February 9, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., has been named to four subcommittees that will ensure she's a leading voice on national security, the continuing federal response to COVID-19, and international trade. The Winter Park Democrat is the only Florida Democrat who currently serves on either the... Read More

Calendar Timing Means Virus Deaths Won't be Seen in Census
Census
Calendar Timing Means Virus Deaths Won't be Seen in Census

The human loss from the coronavirus will not be reflected in the 2020 census because of a matter of timing, which could save a congressional seat for New York but cost Alabama one. Because the start of the pandemic in the U.S. and the April 1... Read More

World Hopes for Renewed Cooperation with US Under Biden
Foreign Affairs
World Hopes for Renewed Cooperation with US Under Biden

MEXICO CITY (AP) — World leaders welcomed into their ranks the new U.S. President Joe Biden, noting their most pressing problems, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, require multilateral cooperation, an approach his predecessor Donald Trump ridiculed. Many expressed hope Biden would right U.S. democracy two weeks... Read More

Capitol Police Step Up Security Ahead of Inauguration
Law Enforcement
Capitol Police Step Up Security Ahead of Inauguration
January 15, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Capitol Police have significantly ratcheted up security throughout the Capitol Complex ahead of next week's presidential inaugural ceremony. Measures include installing unscalable eight-foot tall fencing and the closing of several area roads. The department is also coordinating protection and response capabilities with... Read More

What They're Saying About the Attack on the U.S. Capitol
Political News
What They're Saying About the Attack on the U.S. Capitol
January 7, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Capitol is once again secure, though remnants of the mayhem that transpired Wednesday afternoon and evening remain. Much of the trash left behind by marauding protestors had been swept into piles by Thursday morning, though shards of glass still lay at the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top