Case Would Expand Vote By Mail Option to Every Eligible Texas Voter
AUSTIN, Texas — Today, the Texas Democratic Party and voters filed their final brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking its review of the case filed last Spring which challenged the constitutionality of Texas’s law that limits voting by mail, without excuse, to voters age 65 and older. The 26th Amendment prohibits “denying or abridging” the right to vote based on age, which Texas law does. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in September that so long as all voters can vote in person, it does not abridge the right to vote if the state provides some voters with additional voting options. The Texas Democratic Party and voters argue this ruling runs contrary to the 26th Amendment and is inconsistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
To read the new filing, click here.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to confer regarding this case on January 8, 2021. On January 11, 2021, at 10:00 am ET, the Court will issue its orders list for the 2021 term. At that point, the Court may grant review of the case, deny review, or hold the case over for further consideration at a later time. If the Court grants review, the case could be heard this term, with a decision before Summer or it could decide to hear the case in its term beginning Fall of 2021. If the court denies review of the case, it will return to the U.S. District Court in San Antonio, where it will proceed to the final trial and, thereafter, potentially go back through the appeals process.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“The Texas Democratic Party will never stop fighting to expand voting rights for all eligible Texas voters and to ensure that voting is convenient, safe, and easy. This new filing is the next step in our battle to ensure that every Texan can have their voice heard.
“Make no mistake, there was never any reason for vote-by-mail to only be available to those 65 and older. Texas was one of only 4 shameful states who maintained this unconstitutional rule for the last November election. Republicans, desperate to cling to power, have used archaic voting laws for years to suppress the vote of the rising Texas electorate.
“The Texas Democratic Party is hopeful that the US Supreme Court will adhere to the plain language of the Constitution and require Texas to allow all eligible voters to exercise their Constitutional right to vote and to do so by mail if they choose. This goes beyond partisan politics, this is a battle on which our very Democracy stands. It’s time for Texas’ voting laws to accurately reflect the will of the state. Like 46 other states, it’s time to stop using age to discriminate against voters. It’s time to let the will of Texans — all Texans — be heard.”