The League of Women Voters of Texas and partners filed a lawsuit challenging the Texas’s voter suppression legislation, Senate Bill 1, which imposes strict ID requirements for mail-in ballots, a restriction on aiding voters who need help completing or returning their ballots, and a ballot collection ban.
In September 2021, a coalition of voting rights groups, including OCA-Greater Houston, the League of Women Voters of Texas, REVUP-Texas, and the Texas Organizing Project and Workers Defense Action Fund, filed a lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 1. Signed into law in September of 2021, Texas's Senate Bill 1 implements strict ID requirements for mail-in ballots, restricts the provision of assistance to voters who need help completing or returning their ballots, and bans ballot collection. The challenge alleges that the Bill intentionally makes it more difficult for voters of color, voters with limited English, and voters with disabilities to cast a ballot. Those burdens violate the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
This case has been consolidated with four other challenges to Senate Bill 1 and is now called La Union del Pueblo Entero v. Abbott.
The League and its co-plaintiffs were represented by the Texas Civil Rights Project, the ACLU Foundation of Texas, Inc., the ACLU Foundation, Disability Rights Texas, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Jenner and Block LLP.
Case consolidated with others as La Union del Pueblo Entero v. Abbott
Parties file motion to intervene
The Harris County Republican Party, Dallas County Republican Party, National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee along with the Public Interest Legal Foundation file motions to intervene in the case in order to protect SB1.
Case appealed to Fifth Circuit
After the Republican Committees’ motion to intervene is denied by the district court, they appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Fifth Circuit allows intervenors
The Fifth Circuit reverses the decision of the district court and remands the case, finding that the Republican committees had a right to intervene in the proceedings to defend SB1. Republican committees then file an answer to the complaint as intervening defendants.
Court partially denies motion to dismiss
The court partially denies the motion to dismiss filed by Texas' Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. The court rules that (1) the Attorney General and Secretary of State were not immune from lawsuits under the Eleventh Amendment, (2) the plaintiffs had standing, and (3) the plaintiffs had a private right of action to sue under the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. The court dismisses claims against signature requirements for those assisting voters with absentee ballots, the bans on ballot harvesting and unlawful solicitation of absentee ballot applications, and violations of Title II of the ADA against the Texas Attorney General.
Defendants appeal partial denial of motion to dismiss
The defendants appeal the District Court's partial denial of the motion to dismiss to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
LWV Texas and partners file motion for partial summary judgment
LWV Texas and several co-plaintiffs file a motion for partial summary judgment, asserting SB 1's requirement that voters must include ID numbers matching those on their voter registration applications when applying for and voting mail ballots is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964's Materiality Provision. The motion also details statistical analysis showing the matching requirement disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in the 2022 midterm elections.
Court partially grants LWV Texas' motion for partial summary judgment
The court partially grants LWV Texas' motion for partial summary judgment, as well as a motion for summary judgment from the United States Department of Justice. The court rules that Sections 5.07 and 5.13 of SB 1, which require rejection of mail ballot applications and mail ballots if certain ID numbers on them do not match those on voters' voter registration applications, violate the Materiality Provision of Civil Rights Act of 1964.