Two leftist organizations purporting to represent Latino voters are suing to block a new Texas law passed by Republicans to prevent people from illegally voting where they don’t live. But the lawsuit exclusively targeting Democrat county election officials suggests a legal strategy that’s far from adversarial.
On Tuesday, the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Voto Latino filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1111—a move blasted by the bill’s author, State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R–Houston), as a “preposterous attempt by Leftist Progressives” to keep “impossible” addresses on Texas voter rolls.
In a post on Thursday, Bettencourt said the bill is about keeping the integrity of the voter roll high. “SB 1111 will make sure voters are registered to vote at a physical address where they actually live so elections are not unfairly impacted,” he added.
The new law, set to take effect on September 1, clarifies voters must register at a place they inhabit, not at a post office box or commercial address.
It requires voters registered at a private P.O. box to document a valid residential address for voting purposes. It also prohibits voters from establishing residency to influence the outcome of an election.
LULAC’s lawyers (including national Democrats’ counsel Perkins Coie) claim SB 1111 violates the First, 14th, and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
To stop enforcement of the voter residency rules, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Austin, selectively targeting voter registration officials in six Democrat-controlled counties: Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, and Travis.
SB 1111 passed the Texas House and Senate on party-line votes, so it’s likely the selected defendants actually agree with the plaintiffs’ goal of blocking the law—suggesting LULAC’s litigation could be seen as collusive.
Collusive litigation occurs when the parties are
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