Voting-related Litigation: Texas

1. Texas v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al.

(Filed December 7, 2020, 22O155; Dismissed December 11, 2020, 22O155)

US Supreme Court: Texas v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al., was filed on December 7, 2020, in the US Supreme Court. The State of Texas filed this Motion for Leave to Submit a Bill of Complaint against the States of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, alleging that specific practices relating to the November 3, 2020, General Election in these states were unconstitutional, such as the relaxing of absentee ballot regulations. On December 11, 2020, the court denied Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file because the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction when the Plaintiff did not have standing. The Hon. Samuel Alito and the Hon. Clarence Thomas, both Republicans, stated in their dissent that they would have allowed Plaintiff to file its complaint, but would not have granted other relief.

Issues: Election procedure (law violation); Vote-by-mail (regulations relaxed)

Outcome: The Plaintiff lost.


2. Louie Gohmert, et al. v. The Honorable Michael R. Pence

(Filed December 27, 2020, 6:20-cv-660; Dismissed January 1, 2021, 6:20-cv-660; Stay denied January 7, 2021, 20 A 115)

US District Court: Louie Gohmert, et al. v. The Honorable Michael R. Pence was filed on December 27, 2020, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas by Louie Gohmert, a Republican US Representative from Texas, and the slate of Republican presidential electors for the State of Arizona. The suit alleged that the elector dispute resolution provisions of the federal Electoral Count Act violated the Electors Clause and the Twelfth Amendment of the US Constitution, limiting Vice President Mike Pence’s exclusive authority. Plaintiffs sought declaratory judgment that certain sections of the Electoral Count Act of 1887 were unconstitutional and that Vice President Pence, on January 6, 2021, would be subject solely to the requirements of the Twelfth Amendment. The matter was assigned to the Hon. Matt Mackowiak, a Republican. On January 1, 2021, the case was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the Plaintiffs did not have standing.

US Court of Appeals: On January 1, 2021, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The case was assigned to the Hon. Patrick Higginbotham, the Hon. Jerry Edwin Smith, and the Hon. Andy Oldham, all Republican appointees. In a Per Curiam opinion of January 2, 2021, the court affirmed the District Court’s dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

US Supreme Court: On January 6, 2021, Plaintiffs filed an Emergency Application for an Administrative Stay Pending Filing a Writ of Certiorari directed to Justice Samuel Alito, the Circuit Justice for the Fifth Circuit, who referred the case to the US Supreme Court. On January 7, 2021, the court denied the Emergency Application.

Issues: Federal law (certain sections of the Electoral Count Act of 1887 were unconstitutional)

Outcome: The Plaintiffs lost.

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