Democrats are desperate to force vote-by-mail measures by any means necessary, but they were dealt a devastating blow by the Supreme Court on Friday.
Texas Democrats successfully pressured a district court into ordering state leaders to send mail-in ballots to Texas voters ahead of the Texas primary runoff in mid-July. Then, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed a stay order, prompting activists to request the SCOTUS take on the case — a request that was quickly rejected.
“The application to vacate stay presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied,” wrote the court’s on Friday. Alito’s decision allowing the circuit court’s injunction against forcing mail-in ballots to stay in place is a major victory for Trump and other GOP leaders that are concerned about the potential for election fraud.
Activist judge Fred Biery ruled in May — at the behest of the Texas Democratic Party — that because “the entire world is mostly without immunity” to COVID-19, all Texas voters are “disabled” and thus eligible for absentee ballots.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the ruling soon after, ruling that mail-in voting measures should be agreed upon by state officials. Democrats countered the ruling by asking the Supreme Court to take on the case, but the high court’s rejection means that current rules limiting mail-in ballots in Texas will remain in place for the July 14th primary.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa mourned the decision, complaining that “we are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not weigh in now and provide needed relief and clarity for voters ahead of the primary runoff.”
Texas has been a solidly red state for years. Democrats hoping to flip the state blue were counting on the possibilities that mail-in ballots present to achieve that goal, but it appears they will have to try to win the primaries the old-fashioned way.
Donald Trump celebrated the decision, tweeting on Friday, “Big WIN in Texas on Mail-In Ballots!”