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Case Name Lewis v. Hughs VR-TX-0450
Docket / Court 5:20-cv-00577 ( W.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: On May 11, 2020, the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, and six individuals filed this lawsuit against the Texas Secretary of State, challenging the constitutionality of the laws ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: On May 11, 2020, the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, and six individuals filed this lawsuit against the Texas Secretary of State, challenging the constitutionality of the laws restricting vote by mail. No outcome yet.


On May 11, 2020, the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, and six individuals filed this lawsuit against the Texas Secretary of State, challenging the constitutionality of the laws restricting vote by mail. The plaintiffs brought this lawsuit as a declaratory action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, and as an injunctive action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the current vote by mail system was in violation of the plaintiffs' First, Fourteenth, and Twenty-Fourth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the requirement that voters pay for the postage to return their early voting ballots by mail, the postmark requirements for the ballots, the requirement that voters must submit two handwriting samples that “match” in order to have their early voting ballots counted, and the criminalization of a person assisting a voter in returning a marked mail ballot denied the plaintiffs equal protection and procedural due process, and violated the prohibition on poll tax. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief requiring the defendants to provide prepaid postage on the ballot carrier envelopes used to return the marked mail-in ballots to the counties and enjoining them from rejecting vote-by-mail ballots if those ballots were postmarked by 7:00 p.m. on election day and received by the county election administrator before it canvased the election and from implementing, enforcing, or giving any effect to the Voter Assistance Ban. They further sought to enjoin the defendants from rejecting mail-in ballots on signature verification grounds, and sought an injunction requiring the defendants to provide voters the opportunity to cure any issues with signature verification before their ballots are rejected. This lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, and assigned to Judge Orlando L. Garcia. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys.

The defendants moved to dismiss the case on June 3, arguing that the sovereign immunity bars plaintiffs’ claims, that the plaintiffs lack standing and that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim.

The case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 07/04/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Equal Protection
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Election administration
Voter qualifications
Voter registration rules
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Texas Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, and six individuals
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 05/11/2020
Additional Resources
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  Lewis v. Hughs
Moritz College of Law
Date: Jun. 26, 2020
By: Election Law at Moritz (The Ohio State University)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
5:20-cv-00577-OLG (W.D. Tex.)
VR-TX-0450-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
VR-TX-0450-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The Texas Secretary State's Motion to Dismiss Or, in the Alternative, for a More Definite Statement [ECF# 17]
VR-TX-0450-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 19, 19-1]
VR-TX-0450-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The Texas Secretary of State's Reply in Support of Her Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 26]
VR-TX-0450-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Garcia, Orlando Luis (W.D. Tex.) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Branch, Aria C (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0001 | VR-TX-0450-0003 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Elias, Marc Erik (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0001 | VR-TX-0450-0003 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Hamilton, Kevin J. (Washington) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0001 | VR-TX-0450-0003 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Howton, Skyler (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0001 | VR-TX-0450-0003 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Kuhlmann, Gillian (California) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0001 | VR-TX-0450-0003 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Schirack, Sarah Langberg (Alaska) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0001 | VR-TX-0450-0003 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Stafford, William B (Washington) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0001 | VR-TX-0450-0003 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Abrams, Michael (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0004 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Bangert, Ryan L (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0002 | VR-TX-0450-0004
Disher, Todd Lawrence (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0004 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Hunker, Kathleen (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0002 | VR-TX-0450-0004
Mateer, Jeffrey C (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0002 | VR-TX-0450-0004
Paxton, Ken (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0002 | VR-TX-0450-0004
Sweeten, Patrick Kinney (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0002 | VR-TX-0450-0004 | VR-TX-0450-9000
Thompson, William Thomas (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-TX-0450-0002 | VR-TX-0450-0004 | VR-TX-0450-9000

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