Lawsuit filed on behalf of La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), multiple voting and civil rights organizations, Texas election officials and individual voters challenging the state’s voter suppression legislation, Senate Bill 1. The lawsuit was filed before S.B. 1 was signed into law. The suit challenges multiple provisions of S.B. 1 — including a restriction on providing assistance to voters who need help completing or returning their ballots, the empowerment of partisan poll watchers, a ban on 24-hour and drive-thru voting, the criminalization of many voter outreach efforts, a ballot collection ban, mail-in ballot signature matching rules, new methods to cancel voter registrations and more — for violating the First, 14th and 15th Amendments, the Voting Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by imposing undue burdens on the right to vote, particularly for voters of color and voters with disabilities. Five other cases challenging S.B. 1 were consolidated with this case.
The Harris County Republican Party, Dallas County Republican Party, National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee along with the Public Interest Legal Foundation filed motions to intervene in the case in order to protect S.B. 1. After the Republican Committees’ motion to intervene was denied by the district court, they appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 5th Circuit reversed the decision of the district court and remanded the case, finding that the Republican committees had a right to intervene in the proceedings to defend S.B. 1. Litigation is ongoing before the district court.
On May 25, 2022, the district court granted the LULAC plaintiffs’ motion to compel the production of S.B.1-related communications and documents possessed by four state legislators. Claiming legislative privilege, the legislators appealed the district court’s order to the 5th Circuit, which reversed the district court’s order on May 17, 2023. Additionally, an appeal of the district court’s order compelling production of documents and testimony from intervenor, the Harris County Republican Party, is ongoing.
On Aug. 2, the district court granted in part and denied in part multiple sets of defendants’ motions to dismiss, thereby allowing claims brought by four sets of plaintiffs to move forward. On Aug. 30, 2022, the defendants appealed these orders on their motions to dismiss to the 5th Circuit, where litigation is ongoing.
On Aug. 17, 2023, the district court invalidated provisions of S.B. 1 that required clerks to reject mail-in ballot applications and completed mail-in ballots if they did not include a voter identification number — either a voter’s driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number — that matched the identification number used on an individual’s original voter registration application. The judge held that these provisions violated the Materiality Provision of the Civil Rights Act.
Trial is set to begin on Sept. 11, 2023.
Case Documents (DISTRICT COURT)
Case Documents (5th Circuit)