SCOTUS Rebuffs Dems’ Request To Expand TX Absentee Voting Ahead Of July Primary

CAPITOL HILL, WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES - 2013/06/01: Supreme Court Building, eastern facade. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Supreme Court Building, eastern facade. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
June 26, 2020 4:59 p.m.

The Supreme Court on Friday said it would not reverse an appeals court order that will keep vote-by-mail limited in Texas in the pandemic.

The state Democratic party had sued the state over its absentee voting restrictions that allow only voters 65-and-older to vote by mail without any excuse. The lawsuit alleges that the policy violates the Constitution’s 26th Amendment ban on age-based voter discrimination. A federal judge agreed with the Democrats’ argument, but then an appeals court put that judge’s order on hold, prompting the Democrats to turn to the Supreme Court for an intervention.

No justice publicly dissented from the Supreme Court’s refusal to reverse the appeals court’s hold. But the move did come with a statement from Justice Sonia Sotomayor that hinted that she would like to come back to the case at a later stage in its proceedings.

Texas Democrats argued that the Supreme Court should get involved now because the appeals court did not seem to be in a rush to fully resolve the case on its merits.

In a statement, the party said that it was “disappointed” with the Supreme Court’s move Friday, particularly because there is a primary election in Texas next month, but that “hope remains that the federal courts will restore equal voting rights in time for the November elections.”

Texas is an outlier in its refusal to loosen its restrictions on absentee voting for the pandemic.

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