“Critics have not been clear about the legitimacy of my actions and have expressed impartial political views,” Abbott wrote in a celebration. Tweet.
Background: Civil rights groups and Democrats complained two weeks ago that a Dropbox-location-rule suddenly imposed by Abbott was unfairly burdening large urban districts and had the potential to deter voters and create health risks.
Duncan, however, said the rule would have a “de minimis” impact on voters.
Duncan, along with Justices Dan Willett and James Ho, wrote: “It’s a strain to see how this imposes voting.” All three judges are appointments of President Donald Trump.
“The October 1 declaration is part of an expansion of voting opportunities that is not beyond what the Texas Election Code provides.
Judge 20 page comment Texas law generally allows voters to cast their ballots not only on election day, but will have a 40-day window to do so this year and retain the right to send ballots by mail.
In issuing the restraining order last week, Austin-based U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman said
Abbott’s “face” from the July order threatened to vote for disabled and elderly voters who now have to travel long distances to drop their ballots. The judge also said the postal service delays and changes had raised doubts about whether the ballots sent would arrive on time.
What’s next: Civil rights groups and minority state legislators who have pressed the federal case against Abbott’s order may ask the entire bench of the Court of Appeal to take up the matter, but their appeal is unlikely to find traction in the Conservative Court.
Plaintiffs may also seek relief from the U.S. Supreme Court, but that court was abbreviated due to the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, meaning that opponents of Abbott’s order would have to win the votes of two Conservative judges in addition to three on the court. The rest are liberals.
Ho, one of the 5th round judges, added a provocatively coherent opinion, arguing that Abbott violated Texas law and perhaps the U.S. Constitution, unilaterally changing Texas’ electoral procedures without the action of the state legislature. However, the judge said that in this case only the error of the Central District Judge could be resolved.
“It reminds me of the proverb that sometimes the second fluffy guy who gets caught is the only one,” Ho wrote.
Ho seemed to be deliberately giving an impetus to the ongoing lawsuits of Republican election lawyers in various states, as changes in the electoral procedure provided by governors and state secretaries were unconstitutional because they were not directly approved by state legislators. Two such challenges to the Pennsylvania ballot receipt-deadline are pending in the Supreme Court.
“The Constitution has control over federal election laws in state legislatures, and for good reason – that’s where we expect the voice of the people to be heard louder and more efficiently,” Ho wrote, raising concerns about fraudulent ballots without his consent.