Texas Republicans hit with another lawsuit over 'unfounded voter purge'
Texas Republican leaders face a new federal lawsuit over their attempt to question the voting rights of nearly 100,000 people, this one claiming they personally conspired to suppress the votes of naturalized citizens and racial minorities.
A lawsuit filed early Saturday morning in U.S. district court in Corpus Christi by the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund accused several top Texas Republicans of conspiring to suppress suffrage rights “by coordinating an unfounded voter purge campaign with threats of criminal prosecution aimed at naturalized citizen voters.”
The complaint targets the state’s top GOP officials ― Gov. Greg Abbott, Secretary of State David Whitley and Attorney General Ken Paxton ― and seeks damages if a judge finds that their alleged conspiracy violates the Voting Rights Act.
The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, joined the LULAC lawsuit Friday, filing an amended class action complaint to the earlier lawsuit in U.S. district court in San Antonio on behalf of Julie Hilberg, a 54-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in the United Kingdom.
Hilberg, who lives south of San Antonio in Atascosa County, registered to vote in 2015 and cast her first ballot in the following year’s presidential election. She found that she was on the voter probe list after asking the county registrar, according to CLC attorney Paul Smith.
“This program is a gratuitous attack on people’s right to vote that has no factual basis,” Smith told HuffPost. “It’s virtually certain that the vast majority of people on this list are citizens eligible to vote, but they’re going to get this notice saying they have 30 days to prove their citizenship. It’s inevitable that some of them won’t and they’ll get purged.”