“Fifth Circuit Slow-Walks Argument in Critical Texas Voting Rights Case”


Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced that it will not hear oral argument in a critical Texas voting rights case until August 31, pushing its decision-making process dangerously close to the November 3 general election. The case, Texas Democratic Party v. Abbott, is a challenge to Section 82.003 of Texas’s Election Code, which provides that only voters 65 years of age or older have the right to vote by mail without any additional excuse on election day. Under current pandemic conditions, this provision forces those under 65 to risk their lives to vote in person. The Texas Democratic Party, along with individual voters, sued, alleging that this provision violates younger voters’ rights under the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, which provides that “[t]he right of citizens of the United States . . . to vote shall not be denied or abridged by . . . any State on account of age.” Constitutional text and history are on the plaintiffs’ side, and by slow-walking proceedings in the case, the Fifth Circuit endangers the fundamental right to vote….


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