17 Feb RELEASE: Federal judge sanctions state in “motor voter” law case

 

For Immediate Release
Friday, February 17, 2017

Contact: Zenén Jaimes Pérez, Communications Director
Phone: 512.914.5905
Email: zenen@texascivilrightsproject.org

 

RELEASE: Federal judge sanctions state in “motor voter” law case

The sanctions come after Texas repeatedly, and without justification, ignored federal court orders to provide documents in the case

 

Austin, Texas — Today, the U.S. District Court For the Western District Of Texas ordered sanctions against the state of Texas for undue delay in our “motor voter” case, Stringer v. Pablos.

On January 24, the Texas Civil Rights Project, with co-counsel at Waters Kraus LLP, submitted a Motion to Sanction the state for repeatedly, and without justification, ignoring a federal court’s order to provide the necessary documents to move forward with the case.

In his sanctions order, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando L. Garcia found that the state’s months long delay to produce the needed documents has been disruptive, time consuming, cost consuming. The Court also found that the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Texas willfully disregarded court-ordered deadlines.

The state must now incur the reasonable expense in bringing forth the motion to compel and motion to sanction. It must also cover court reporter fees, travel expenses, and attorney’s fees.

Beth Stevens, Voting Rights Director with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said:

“Every election cycle, tens of thousands of Texas voters are being arbitrarily shut out of the electoral system, due to the state’s unwillingness to comply with federal voting rights law.

Our litigation is about making sure every voter can cast a ballot that counts.  It is critical that these issues be resolved well before the 2018 election and we will continue to work diligently to push the lawsuit forward. Today’s order is a strong sign the the Court also recognizes the important issues at stake.”

Related resources: Link to sanctions order

 


 

The Texas Civil Rights Project uses legal advocacy to empower Texas communities and create policy change. In its twenty-five year history, TCRP has brought thousands of strategic lawsuits, defending voting rights, fighting institutional discrimination, and reforming systems of criminal justice. Today — with dozens of high-caliber attorneys and professionals in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, and an extensive network of pro bono counsel and community allies — TCRP is among the most influential civil rights organizations in the Lone Star State.