The Supreme Court refused Friday to re-instate a federal district court order that extends Texas mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Supreme Court released a brief statement announcing its denial. It also included a statement from Justice Sotomayor:
This application raises weighty but seemingly novel questions regarding the Twenty-Sixth Amendment. I do not disagree with the decision to refrain from addressing them for the first time here, in the context of an emergency application to vacate a stay of an injunction. But I hope that the Court of Appeals will consider the merits of the legal issues in this case well in advance of the November election.
In April, a federal judge ruled that all Texas voters may receive mail-in ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, Texas voters must have been disabled, over the age of 65, out of the county on election day, or confined in jail to receive mail-in ballots.
A federal appeals court stayed the federal judge’s order in early June, blocking the order’s implementation. Texas Democrats appealed the appeals court’s stay to the Supreme Court. With the Supreme Court’s refusal to lift the stay, the federal appeals court will hear the case on its merits and make a final decision on the order.