Breaking: #SCOTUS Denies Emergency Relief in Texas Voter ID Case, But Signals Full Decision in Time for November Elections

The Supreme Court has just issued this order:

The application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on October 14, 2014, presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied. The Court recognizes the time constraints the parties confront in light of the scheduled elections in November, 2016. If, on or before July 20, 2016, the Court of Appeals has neither issued an opinion on the merits of the case nor issued an order vacating or modifying the current stay order, an aggrieved party may seek interim relief from this Court by filing an appropriate application. An aggrieved party may also seek interim relief if any change in circumstances before that date supports further arguments respecting the stay order.

This is full application of the Purcell Principle in action: giving the 5th Circuit a time frame so that the issue can be resolved when it is not the last minute before the election.

I was very, very skeptical of the benefits of seeking this emergency order, but putting the 5th Circuit on a set schedule prevents not only dawdling but intentional foot-dragging so as to allow the law to remain in effect for the November election. So this is a bit of good news for opponents of Texas’s law.

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