Case: United States v. Texas

5:21-cv-01085 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Filed Date: Nov. 4, 2021

Closed Date: Feb. 1, 2022

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about Texas legislation Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which restricts eligible voters’ ability to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted. The law bans drive-thru voting or casting a ballot from inside a vehicle unless participating in curbside voting due to sickness or a disability. It also prohibits 24-hour and overnight voting at early voting poll sites, restricting their hours of operation from 6am to 10 pm. Further, Texans who vote by mail will have to include a driver's license …

This is a case about Texas legislation Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which restricts eligible voters’ ability to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted. The law bans drive-thru voting or casting a ballot from inside a vehicle unless participating in curbside voting due to sickness or a disability. It also prohibits 24-hour and overnight voting at early voting poll sites, restricting their hours of operation from 6am to 10 pm. Further, Texans who vote by mail will have to include a driver's license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number on the envelope containing their ballot, which will have to match the number provided on their vote-by-mail application submitted earlier. The bill also includes new requirements for voter assistant, expanded powers for poll watchers, and creates several new voting related crimes and misdemeanors.

On November 4, 2021, the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. The DOJ sued the state of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State under section 208 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The DOJ sought an injunction against the enforcement of SB 1, a declaratory judgment that SB 1 violated the law, and any other appropriate relief. They claimed that Section 6.04 of SB 1 limited the ability of voters with disabilities to receive necessary and effective forms of federally protected assistance from an individual of their choice, in violation of section 208 of the VRA. Further, SB 1 required election officials to reject mail-in ballots if a voter failed to include a: 1) driver’s license number, 2) election identification certificate number, 3) personal identification certificate number, or 4) partial social security number that identified the voter as the same individual on the voter’s application for voter registration, unless the voter certified that they hadn’t been issued such a number. This provision, the DOJ claimed, violated the rights of voters under the Civil Rights Act because it required the rejection of mail-in ballots—thereby denying the right to vote—due to errors or omissions that were not material in determining whether such individuals were qualified to vote. The case was assigned to Judge Xavier Rodriguez.

On November 8, the DOJ moved to consolidate this case under La Unión del Pueblo Entero v. Abbott (W.D. Texas), alongside four matters which had already been consolidated, because each action contained common questions of law or fact. The court agreed, and the cases were consolidated on November 9. On February 1, 2022, the court administratively closed this case pending further orders.

As of February 27, 2023, litigation under La Unión del Pueblo Entero v. Abbott is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Simran Takhar (3/4/2023)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60700084/parties/united-states-v-state-of-texas/


Judge(s)

Rodriguez, Xavier (Texas)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Dellheim, Richard Alan (Texas)

Freeman, Daniel Joshua (Texas)

Paikowsky, Dana (Texas)

Stewart, Michael Elliot (Texas)

Attorney for Defendant

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

5:21-cv-01085

Complaint

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

Complaint
12

5:21-cv-01085

MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE

Nov. 8, 2021

Nov. 8, 2021

Pleading / Motion / Brief
13

5:21-cv-01085

Order

Nov. 9, 2021

Nov. 9, 2021

Order/Opinion
15

5:21-cv-01085

Order

Feb. 1, 2022

Feb. 1, 2022

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60700084/united-states-v-state-of-texas/

Last updated Dec. 2, 2023, midnight

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT (Filing fee Waived $ 402.), filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Freeman, Daniel) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on RECAP

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

Clearinghouse
2

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Freeman, Daniel) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER
3

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Dana Paikowsky on behalf of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Attorney Dana Paikowsky added to party UNITED STATES OF AMERICA(pty:pla) (Paikowsky, Dana) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER
4

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Michael Elliot Stewart on behalf of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Attorney Michael Elliot Stewart added to party UNITED STATES OF AMERICA(pty:pla) (Stewart, Michael) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER
5

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Jennifer Jaeseon Yun on behalf of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Attorney Jennifer Jaeseon Yun added to party UNITED STATES OF AMERICA(pty:pla) (Yun, Jennifer) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER

Case assigned to Judge Xavier Rodriguez. CM WILL NOW REFLECT THE JUDGE INITIALS AS PART OF THE CASE NUMBER. PLEASE APPEND THESE JUDGE INITIALS TO THE CASE NUMBER ON EACH DOCUMENT THAT YOU FILE IN THIS CASE. (bc)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER

If ordered by the court, all referrals will be assigned to Magistrate Judge Chestney (bc)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER
6

Summons Issued as to STATE OF TEXAS and John Scott. (bc) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

RECAP
7

Pro Hac Vice Letter- T. Christian Herren Jr. (bc) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER
8

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Richard Alan Dellheim on behalf of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Dellheim, Richard) (Entered: 11/04/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER
9

ORDER SETTING STATUS CONFERENCE AND HEARING ON ALL PENDING MOTIONS ( Status Conference set for 11/16/2021 1:30 PM before Judge Xavier Rodriguez). Signed by Judge Xavier Rodriguez. (bc) (Entered: 11/05/2021)

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

RECAP

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER

To be Referred to SA Mag Judge

Nov. 4, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

PACER
10

SUMMONS Returned Executed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. STATE OF TEXAS served on 11/5/2021, answer due 11/26/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement)(Freeman, Daniel) (Entered: 11/05/2021)

Nov. 5, 2021

Nov. 5, 2021

PACER
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. John Scott served on 11/5/2021, answer due 11/26/2021. (Freeman, Daniel) (Entered: 11/05/2021)

Nov. 5, 2021

Nov. 5, 2021

PACER
12

Unopposed MOTION to Consolidate Cases by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Freeman, Daniel) (Entered: 11/08/2021)

1 Proposed Order

View on RECAP

Nov. 8, 2021

Nov. 8, 2021

Clearinghouse
13

ORDER GRANTING 12 Motion to Consolidate Cases 5:21-CV-01085-XR into 5:21-CV-00844-XR (Lead Case). Signed by Judge Xavier Rodriguez. (bc) (Entered: 11/09/2021)

Nov. 9, 2021

Nov. 9, 2021

Clearinghouse
14

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Responsive Pleading by STATE OF TEXAS, John Scott. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Sweeten, Patrick) (Entered: 11/23/2021)

Nov. 23, 2021

Nov. 23, 2021

PACER

Text Order GRANTING 14 Motion for Extension of Time to File entered by Judge Xavier Rodriguez. Defendants State of Texas and Secretary Scott have until December 3, 2021, to respond to Plaintiff's Complaint. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ldox)

Nov. 23, 2021

Nov. 23, 2021

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: STATE OF TEXAS answer due 12/3/2021; John Scott answer due 12/3/2021. (mgr)

Nov. 23, 2021

Nov. 23, 2021

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

Nov. 23, 2021

Nov. 23, 2021

PACER

Set/Reset Answer Deadline

Nov. 23, 2021

Nov. 23, 2021

PACER
15

ORDER--Accordingly, the Clerks office is DIRECTED to administratively close this case pending further order of the Court. The parties must file all future filings in La Union del Pueblo Entero v. Abbott, No. 5:21-cv-844 (W.D. Tex.). Signed by Judge Xavier Rodriguez. (nm) (Entered: 02/02/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022

Feb. 1, 2022

Clearinghouse

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Disability Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 4, 2021

Closing Date: Feb. 1, 2022

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Secretary of State, State

Texas, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Voting Rights Act, section 208 (assistance for disabled persons), 52 U.S.C. § 10508 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-6)

Civil Rights Act of 1957/1960, 52 U.S.C. § 10101 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1971)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Fifteenth Amendment

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Drivers Licenses

Mail

Disability and Disability Rights:

disability, unspecified

Voting:

Voting: General & Misc.

Voting: Physical/Effective Access

Election administration

Voter ID

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)