In re Texas
In re Texas (Texas Supreme Court, May 27, 2020): The Texas Supreme Court determined that a lack of immunity to COVID-19 did not qualify as a “physical condition” that would entitle a voter to qualify to vote-by-mail under the “disability” category of the state’s election code. The court found that voting by mail is limited to “those who will be absent from their county of residence during an election period, who have a ‘disability,’ who are over 65 years of age, who are incarcerated, or who are participating in the address confidentiality program administered by the Attorney General.” The Texas Democratic Party (TDP) had argued that the election code permits voters to vote-by-mail if they believe social distancing is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 because lack of immunity constitutes a disability under the code. In another case, Texas Democratic Party v. Abbott, TDP also sued in federal district court. That court granted a preliminary injunction ordering that voters wishing to avoid transmission of COVID-19 could vote by mail during the pandemic. It held the age restriction, banning individuals under 65 from mail-in voting, violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection provision. On June 4, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the federal district court’s injunction pending appeal. Read the In re Texas decision here. Read the Texas Democratic Party v. Abbott decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – June 15, 2020.