|Project Vote Appeals Texas Voter Registration Case to U.S. Supreme Court|
Voting rights group asks justices to rule on the freedom of voter registration effortsSeptember 14, 2012
Washington, DC – Today, with little over three weeks left before the close of voter registration in Texas, attorneys for Project Vote filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the justices to intervene and prevent the state from enforcing laws that place undue burdens on voter registration drives.
In February 2012, Project Vote and its affiliate Voting for America filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas, arguing that certain provisions of Texas election code unfairly restricted voter registration activities, in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the National Voter Registration Act.
“Current Texas law would make it nearly impossible for voter registration organizations to conduct their work in the state,” said Michael Slater, executive director for Project Vote.
In August, U.S. District Court Judge Gregg Costa agreed that these laws improperly restricted voter registration drives, writing in a 96-page ruling that “Texas now imposes more burdensome regulations on those engaging in third-party voter registration than the vast majority of, if not all, other states.” Judge Costa granted a preliminary injunction enjoining the following laws:
On September 6th, in a 2-1 decision, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Judge Costa’s ruling pending appeal. Now Project Vote and Voting for America are appealing that decision to the highest court in the land.
The Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from the law firms of Ropes & Gray, Brazil & Dunn, and Spivey & Grigg, L.L.P.
“Millions of eligible Texans are still not registered to vote, in part because Texas has some of the worst voter registration laws in the nation,” said Chad Dunn, counsel for the plaintiffs. “With a national election fast approaching, we are asking the Supreme Court to recognize that voter registration drives serve an essential function in our democracy, and must be allowed to operate without undue burdens or unreasonable fear of prosecution.”
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