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W.D. Tex.

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Davis v. Perry (Orlando L. Garcia, W.D. Tex. 5:11-cv-788)
On September 22, 2011, six days after a three-judge redistricting bench trial on legislative and congressional districts in Texas, voters filed a federal complaint alleging dilution of minority voting strength in their districts. The court ordered the defendants to respond by October 3, and the case was consolidated with a collection of cases already underway. Seven years after the litigation began, the Supreme Court approved districting plans that reflected the political judgments of the state legislature as much as possible, modified by the district court only as necessary to cure legal defects.
Subject: District lines. Topics: Malapportionment; three-judge court; case assignment; section 2 discrimination; section 5 preclearance; intervention; attorney fees; removal; pro se party.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Park v. Parnell (Timothy M. Burgess, D. Alaska 3:16-cv-281), James v. Cascos (Robert Pitman and Jeffrey C. Manske, W.D. Tex. 6:16-cv-457), Conant v. Oregon (Marco A. Hernandez, D. Or. 3:16-cv-2290), and Barnes v. Wisconsin (William C. Griesbach, E.D. Wis. 1:16-cv-1692)
A pro se complaint sought to enjoin on a vote-dilution theory a state’s Electoral College votes’ going to the prevailing presidential candidate in the state, because although that candidate earned a majority of electoral votes, an opposing candidate earned more votes nationwide. Four days later, the district judge ruled against the plaintiff. Although the judge granted the plaintiff in forma pauperis status during the emergency phase of the litigation, the judge denied in forma pauperis status on appeal because the plaintiff did not present supplementary financial information as ordered. Pro se actions in Virginia, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin challenging winner-take-all allocations of Electoral College votes also were unsuccessful.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: Electoral College; pro se party.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Republican Party of Texas v. Pablos (Andrew Austin and Sam Sparks, 1:17-cv-1167) and Texas Democratic Party v. Republican Party of Texas (Lee Yeakel, 1:17-cv-1186) (W.D. Tex.)
A member of Congress withdrew from reelection consideration after the statutory deadline for removal from the primary election ballot. His party filed a federal action to keep him off the ballot, but the state’s secretary of state said that he would not interfere with the removal. The opposing party filed a federal case to keep the incumbent on the ballot, but the judge declined to order immediate relief. Both actions were withdrawn voluntarily.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; primary election; party procedures; case assignment; enjoining elections.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

LULAC of Texas v. Ramon (Alia Moses Ludlum, Jerry E. Smith, and Xavier Rodriguez, W.D. Tex. 2:10-cv-58)
A three-judge district court enjoined a special election set by a state court for lack of preclearance pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Once an uncontested schedule had received preclearance, the district court dissolved the injunction.
Subject: Election dates. Topics: Section 5 preclearance; three-judge court; enjoining elections; matters for state courts; primary election.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Stockman v. Williams (Lee Yeakel and Sam Sparks, W.D. Tex. 1:06-cv-742)
On September 19, 2006, an independent candidate for Congress filed a federal action to get his name on the ballot. The assigned judge was away that week, so another judge presided over a temporary restraining order hearing. Because absentee ballots would be issued in a few days’ time, and because the plaintiff did not name all necessary defendants, immediate relief was denied. The originally assigned judge determined the following week that the case was filed too late to obtain relief.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; laches; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Vasquez-Lopez v. Medina County (Orlando L. Garcia, W.D. Tex. 5:11-cv-945)
Eighteen days before the beginning of a ballot qualification period, a federal complaint challenged post-census county redistricting as not precleared pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Thirteen days later, the district judge approved a districting plan proposed by the parties, and later the judge awarded the plaintiffs $35,546.93 in attorney fees and costs.
Topics: Section 5 preclearance; malapportionment;attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Ramos v. City of San Antonio (Royal Furgeson, W.D. Tex. 5:05-cv-500)
A federal complaint challenged a switch from touch-screen voting machines to paper optical scan ballots, because of the impact on the ability of voters with vision impairments to vote in secret. A claim pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was mooted when the Justice Department precleared the change after the case was filed. The district judge opined that the plaintiffs would prevail on the merits, but a workaround procedure mitigated the impact on vision-impaired voters for the impending election, so the judge denied immediate relief. Three years later, the case settled.
Topics: Voting technology; section 5 preclearance; three-judge court; recusal; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Leyva v. Bexar County Republican Party (Edward C. Prado, W.D. Tex. 5:02-cv-408)
Nearly seven weeks after an election for which polling places were consolidated because of an unexpected shortage of poll workers, a federal complaint challenged the consolidations for not being precleared pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The district judge denied immediate relief because the county intended to seek preclearance and election records would be preserved. In time, the county received retroactive preclearance and a three-judge district court declined to void the election.
Topics: Poll locations; section 5 preclearance; three-judge court; polling hours; primary election; intervention; news media.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Thelma Area Neighborhood Corp. v. Evergreen Underground Water Conservation District (Edward C. Prado, W.D. Tex. 5:01-cv-1191)
A district judge enjoined an election to annex territory to a water conservation district, because the election had not been precleared pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The election was canceled and held three months later than originally scheduled, and annexation failed.
Topics: Section 5 preclearance; enjoining elections; ballot measure.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Selma Coalition for Equality and Change v. City of Selma (Edward C. Prado, W.D. Tex. 5:00-cv-498)
Unsuccessful candidates in a city council election filed a federal complaint alleging that election procedures had not been precleared pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Two years later, a three-judge district court determined that remaining claims for how election officials were appointed were not section 5 violations. The court initially awarded the defendants attorney fees, but denied fees on reconsideration because of the more rigorous standard for awarding fees to defendants in civil rights cases.
Topics: Section 5 preclearance; three-judge court; attorney fees; poll locations.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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