Federal Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order To Protect All Voters In Texas
Nation’s Largest and Oldest Civil Rights Organization Scores A Landmark Victory In Attempts By Texas Secretary of State To Purge Lawful Citizens
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announced Tuesday that San Antonio Federal Judge Fred Biery has affirmed the Plaintiffs’ request. LULAC, the lead attorneys in this case, together with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), requested a Temporary Restraining Order blocking efforts by Texas Secretary of State David Whitley and Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General to purge 98,000 names from voter rolls, including Latinos.
“These two politicians got caught doing something right out of the playbook of hardcore supporters of President Trump who are willing to go to any extreme to commit voter suppression,” said Domingo Garcia, National President. “They were using a list of names the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) told them was flawed and should not be used but they went ahead anyway. Then, Governor Greg Abbott and even the President drummed up a frenzy of media reports when none of it was true!” he said.
LULAC stated in court that the list used by the Texas Secretary of State and sent to county elections officials was outdated and failed to show that it included many names of individuals who were naturalized citizens. Luis Vera, Attorney for LULAC said letters were sent to thousands of people in an attempt to suppress voting through intimidation including threats they had committed a felony when they voted.
“The court agreed with LULAC that a temporary restraining order is the correct and lawful thing to do and urged the State of Texas to work to settle the matter to what has been a non-existent problem,” said Vera. “Ironically, this victory comes on the 90th anniversary of LULAC and here we are, a decade shy of a century that our organization has been fighting for the civil rights of all Americans, including Latinos. Many honest and well-intentioned county elections administrators have been left in a vague and confusing situation which some have now decided to abandon altogether. Of course, the damage to our community has been done and LULAC believes it is important to clear our names as law-abiding citizens.”
Judge Biery issued the temporary restraining order from the bench while a written order is prepared. He stated that if a mutually-acceptable resolution is not reached, he will consider other options up to and including a permanent injunction. The judge also stated he wanted officials to “stand down” from pursuing efforts which he described as targeting immigrants and could constitute a violation of the equal protection clause.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org