Supreme Court Rejects Dems Bid for Universal Vote-by-Mail in Texas

Written by Martin Walsh

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion




The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away a Democratic effort to expand mail-in voting in Texas.

Texas state law makes mail-in ballots available only for people age 65 and older or for voters who meet specific disability guidelines.

The state Democratic Party and some voters sued the Republican-governed state, arguing that by treating voters differently by age, the Texas law violated the U.S. Constitution’s 26th Amendment guarantee of the right to vote for American citizens age 18 and above.

But the Supreme Court left in place a lower court ruling that sided with Texas in the lawsuit.

The court’s only comment on the decision came from liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said she agrees with the ruling but indicated the Democrats’ case “raises weighty but seemingly novel questions regarding the Twenty-Sixth Amendment” and urged the appeals court to consider the case in a timely manner before the general election.

“But I hope that the Court of Appeals will consider the merits of the legal issues in this case well in advance of the November election,” Sotomayor said.

The Democrats had gone to court to try to enable all eligible voters in Texas to vote by mail during last year’s election cycle, including the presidential election, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June, the high court rebuffed an earlier emergency request by Democrats seeking to allow broader mail-in voting. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier that month blocked a ruling by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in favor of the Democrats and in September threw out Biery’s decision.

There was a nationwide surge in voting by mail in the 2020 election as voters concerned about COVID-19 sought to avoid crowds at polling places.

The election results showed that Democratic voters, in particular, relied upon mail-in ballots, with Trump and other Republicans making unfounded claims about fraud with such voting.

A former Special Assistant to Donald Trump revealed on Thursday that a “freight train” of election audits are coming.

Boris Epshteyn joined Steve Bannon on The War Room and began discussing Joe Biden’s speech to a limited joint session of Congress on Wednesday night.

Boris has been following the ongoing forensic audit in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Epshteyn told the War Room audience that, thanks to the courage of the Arizona patriots, a “freight train” of election audits are coming.

Epshteyn said Democrats are trying to stop the audit and that the Arizona Republican Party will not back down.

WATCH:

After months of back-and-forth legal battles between Arizona’s Republican-controlled state senate and the Maricopa County board of supervisors, the ballots in Arizona’s most populous county will be audited beginning on April 22.

Senate President Karen Fann signed a contract to lease the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix from April 19 to May 14 for the Legislature to house the 2.1 million ballots.

Now, the Arizona Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit to stop the state Senate audit of the election results in Maricopa County.

The suit, brought forward by Maricopa County supervisor Steve Gallardo, alleges the audit is led by partisan contractors hired by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Gallardo, the lone Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said he was also concerned about ballot security and confidentiality.

“The sole reason for this lawsuit and injunctions is to protect the sanctity of the ballots and more importantly to preserve voters’ privacy from a sham audit that has been corrupted by agitators and conspiracy theorists,” Gallardo said in a tweet.

“This corrupted process will not be transparent, dark money influencers have hand-picked the folks to observe and witness the ‘audit’ that will be conducted by an uncertified and unqualified group.”

KTAR.com reported:

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The suit calls for a temporary restraining order to prevent the audit, which was scheduled to start after the 2.1 million ballots were carted to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday.

It’s the latest disagreement leaders have had regarding the Senate audit, which isn’t the first to take place in Arizona following Democrat Joe Biden’s win in November.

Senate President Karen Fann has said the GOP-led forensic audit would be conducted independently and would be a transparent process aimed at restoring voter confidence after supporters of Donald Trump in the state said the election was stolen from him due to widespread fraud.

Each hand recount station during the Maricopa County audit will have two overhead cameras to capture video of each ballot that comes across the counting table.

Police officers, both in uniform and in plain clothes, will be scattered throughout the center.

The Maricopa Audit is critical because it could set precedent in revealing potential election fraud and trigger other state legislatures to conduct a similar physical ballot audit and re-canvass.

“We want someplace that is big enough. It will be fully live-streamed the entire time,” Fann told Jeff Oravits during an interview on KBTK-FM on Tuesday.