Federal Judge Sanctions State in “Motor Voter” Law Case

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The U.S. District Court For the Western District Of Texas recently 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.”

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