The U.S. Supreme Court issued a statement on Friday rejecting an initial request by Texas Democrats to overturn a lower court’s decision temporarily blocking an expansion of vote-by-mail in Texas.
A federal judge ruled in May to expand mail ballot access to all Texans amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the expansion as it considered the case, leading Texas Democrats to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in.
With today’s denial, it’s unlikely any mail ballot expansion will occur before the July runoff elections — unless the conservative appeals court decides to side with Democrats.
“We are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not weigh in now and provide needed relief and clarity for voters ahead of the primary runoff,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement. “Now, thanks to Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the all-Republican membership of the Texas Supreme Court, only some voters will be permitted to vote by mail during this primary election.”
Hinojosa said he hopes other court filings in the Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit will result in changes in time before the November elections.
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