In the Courts

Learn about the legal efforts shaping the fight to protect voting rights.
Click on a state to find out what cases are happening there or use the drop-down menu to sort cases by type.
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Texas

Texas
Texas

Active Cases

Texas Online Registration

Vote.org v. Callanen

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Vote.org against multiple Texas counties challenging the state’s “wet signature” law that requires individuals who submit their registration applications electronically or through fax to also provide a copy of their application with his or her original signature — meaning signed with pen on paper. The complaint argues that this law unduly burdens the right to vote and targets voting advocacy groups such as Vote.org in violation of the First and 14th Amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and asks the court to prohibit its enforcement. 

Active Cases

Texas Residency Restriction Bill (LULAC)

Texas State LULAC v. Elfant

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Texas State LULAC and Voto Latino against multiple Texas counties challenging the voter suppression bill S.B. 1111. The complaint alleges that the bill — which prohibits establishing residence “for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a certain election,” restricts individuals from registering to vote using an address where they don’t live full-time, adds strict voter identification requirements for voters that use P.O. boxes to register to vote and more — violates the First, 14th and 26th Amendments.

2019-2020 Election Cycle

Texas Electoral Count Challenge

Gohmert v. Pence

Lawsuit filed by Texas Republican congressman and Arizona’s Republican electoral college electors against Vice President Mike Pence challenging the constitutionality of the Electoral Count Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs asked that Vice President Pence be given the authority to determine electoral votes for each state. The district court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that none of the plaintiffs had standing to bring the case. The Fifth Circuit affirmed.

2019-2020 Election Cycle

Texas Drive Thru Voting Intervention

Hotze v. Hollins

Lawsuit filed by Republican candidates and an individual voter in Texas challenging drive thru voting in Harris County enacted to expand voting opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The suit argues this method of voting circumvents the Texas Legislature and Texas Election Code in violation of the U.S. Constitution and asks the court to invalidate the more than 100,000 votes already cast at drive thru voting sites. The DCCC, DSCC, MJ for Texas and individual Harris County voters intervened to protect drive thru voting. The district court dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs did not have standing, and the Fifth Circuit affirmed.

2019-2020 Election Cycle

Texas DMV Voter Registration

Stringer v. Hughs

Lawsuit brought by the Texas Civil Rights Project against Texas challenging a law for violating the Motor Voter provisions of National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The NVRA requires states to offer voter registration or the ability to update registrations when an eligible voter obtains, renews or updates his or her driver’s license. The lawsuit challenged the state’s misleading practice of providing the option to register to vote when completing online transactions with the transportation agency, even though checking this option did not actually register someone to vote. The district court found that this violated the NVRA and 14th Amendment and struck the law down, but after the plaintiffs updated their registration the court found that they no longer had standing to sue. The Texas Democratic Party, DSCC and DCCC successfully intervened in the case to expand this victory. The court granted the intervenor-plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and ordered the state to comply with the NVRA.

2019-2020 Election Cycle

Texas Mobile Polling Locations

Gilby v. Hughs

Lawsuit filed on behalf of the Texas Democratic Party, DCCC, DSCC and a Texas college student challenging the constitutionality of a Texas law that limits the ability of county election administrators to provide temporary early voting locations that were used to offer early voting opportunities for groups with limited access to transportation, including students. The complaint alleges that this law violates the First, 14th and 26th Amendments by imposing an unconstitutional burden on the voting rights of students. After the district court denied the Texas Secretary of State’s motion to dismiss based on a defense of sovereign immunity, the Secretary appealed to the Third Circuit. The Third Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of sovereign immunity and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss.

2019-2020 Election Cycle

Texas Straight Ticket Voting

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans v. Hughs

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Sylvia Bruni, the Texas Democratic Party, DCCC and DSCC challenging a Texas law set to go into effect in 2020 that would eliminate the use of straight ticket voting for the first time. The complaint alleges that the elimination of straight ticket voting — a method two-thirds of voters used to case their ballot in the 2018 election — would lead to longer lines and wait times and likely deter voting, along with increasing voter confusion and difficulty in casting a ballot. The district court granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the state from enforcing the law during the 2020 election, which the Secretary of State appealed. Litigation in the Fifth Circuit is ongoing.

2019-2020 Election Cycle

Texas COVID-19 Election Relief

Lewis v. Hughs

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Voto Latino, the Texas State Conference of the NAACP, the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans and individual voters asking the state to address four pillars necessary to expand and protect vote-by-mail voting in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the complaint asks Texas to provide prepaid postage for absentee ballots, accept all ballots postmarked on or before Election Day, prohibit enforcement of signature matching, allow voters the opportunity to correct a signature mismatch, and allow voters to designate any third party to collect their voted and sealed absentee ballot. The district court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. The case was appealed to the Fifth Circuit and litigation is ongoing.