Legal Center Opposes True the Vote’s Attempted Late Entry into Texas Voter I.D. Challenge

Date
Issues

On May 16, 2014, the Campaign Legal Center filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit an opposition to a motion by the organization True the Vote (“TTV”) to expedite its appeal or, in the alternative, to stay the voter ID case in the district court while it pursues its appeal..  On December 11, 2013, TTV was denied intervention as a defendant in the consolidated lawsuits (Veasey v. Perry, No. 2:13-cv-193) challenging Texas’s new voter identification law.  The district court found that TTV did not have a particularized interest that the litigation threatens to impair or impede, and that TTV’s generalized interests in the issues will be adequately represented by the State of Texas. 

“True the Vote wants to assist the State of Texas to defend a voter ID law that was adopted and is being used to harm black and Latino voters,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director of The Campaign Legal Center.  “But the organization delayed months to try and get their intervention in the case resolved, and now seeks to reward itself for its own failure to act.  Our legal system should not reward such dawdling.” 

On December 20, 2013, TTV filed a notice of appeal from the denial of the motion to intervene. TTV did not, however, file a motion to expedite its appeal or stay the underlying proceedings at that time.  Instead, it waited more than four full months, until May 5, 2014, to file the motion to expedite.  The Legal Center is representing a group of plaintiffs in the TX voter ID lawsuit and its opposition to TTV’s motion noted that TTV: offered no explanation or excuse for this unreasonable delay; failed to file a motion for a stay in the trial court as required by the Federal Rules; and created the “emergency” that it now claims entitles it to expedite the appeal or stay the proceedings below.

The complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center in the case claims that the voter photo ID law (SB 14) violates the 1st, 14th, 15th and 24th Amendments to the Constitution, as well as Section 2 of Voting Rights Act.  Several challenges (including one brought by the United States) have been brought against the Texas law, which is the one of the most restrictive laws in the nation.  The cases have been consolidated in the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi. 

 The Campaign Legal Center is part of the legal team that includes Chad Dunn and K. Scott Brazil (Brazil & Dunn), Neil G. Baron, David Richards (Richards, Rodriguez & Skeith), Armand Derfner (Derfner, Altman & Wilborn), Luis Roberto Vera, Jr. (LULAC) and Craig M. Wilkins and Teresa G. Snelson (Dallas County District Attorney’s Office). 

To read TTV’s motion, click here. 

To read the Campaign Legal Center’s opposition to TTV’s motion, click here.