“Judge calls new Texas election law unconstitutional but state says it will appeal ruling”

AP reports:

“The law, which would abolish a position that oversees elections in Harris County, was temporarily blocked by state District Judge Karin Crump in Austin after county officials filed a lawsuit earlier this month.

“But the judge’s order, issued Monday, was short-lived. It was put on hold on Tuesday after the Texas Attorney General’s Office filed a notice that it will appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.

“The new law, set to take effect Sept. 1, was pushed through by Republican lawmakers who accused Harris County officials of mismanaging recent elections. Democrats accused Republicans of singling out the county because, like other large urban areas around the state, it has increasingly voted Democratic. …

“The Texas Constitution prevents the Legislature from passing any laws that are not uniform throughout the state and only target a specific location, Crump wrote. …

“Almost two dozen Republican candidates have filed lawsuits, alleging their losses in Harris County during last year’s election were due in part to the various problems as well as to illegally cast votes. A ruling is expected in the next few weeks in one of the lawsuits, the first to go to trial earlier this month.

“There has been no evidence that the issues affected the outcomes.”

This is an important case and very much worth watching.

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