Texas State LULAC v. Paxton

Case: 22-50690 Document: 00516523396 Page: 1 Date Filed: 10/26/2022 United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED October 26, 2022 No. 22-50690 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Texas State LULAC; Voto Latino, Plaintiffs—Appellees, versus Bruce Elfant, et al., Defendants, versus Lupe C. Torres, in her Official Capacity as the Medina County Elections Administrator; Terrie Pendley, in her Official Capacity as the Real County Tax Assessor-Collector; Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, Intervenor Defendants—Appellants. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas USDC No. 1:21-CV-546 Before Clement, Duncan, and Wilson, Circuit Judges. Stuart Kyle Duncan, Circuit Judge: Plaintiffs are two voter registration organizations who challenged Texas’s recently revised requirements for voter residency. The district court concluded Plaintiffs had organizational standing because the new laws caused Case: 22-50690 Document: 00516523396 Page: 2 Date Filed: 10/26/2022 No. 22-50690 them to divert resources from other projects and also chilled their ability to advise and register voters. On the merits, the district court ruled that the challenged laws, in large part, impermissibly burdened the right to vote. Texas appealed. We agree with Texas that Plaintiffs lack organizational standing. So, without reaching the merits, we reverse the district court’s judgment and render judgment dismissing Plaintiffs’ claims. I. During its 2021 regular session, the Texas Legislature enacted over a dozen laws related to election integrity.1 Among them was S.B. 1111, which became effective on September 1, 2021. See Act of May 27, 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., ch. 869, 2021 Tex. Sess. Law Serv. 2142. S.B. 1111 made three relevant changes to the Texas Election Code’s residency provisions. First, voters whose address on their registration form does not correspond to a physical residence, such as a commercial post-office box, must provide the registrar with documentation of a residential address. See Tex. Elec. Code §§ 15.051(a), 15.052(a), 15.054 (“P.O. Box Provision”). Second, voters are prohibited from establishing or maintaining a residence “for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a certain election.” Id. § 1.015(b) (“Residence Provision”). Third, voters may not “establish a residence at any place the person has not inhabited” or “designate a previous residence as a home and fixed place of habitation unless the person inhabits the place at the time of 1 See generally Keith Ingram, Election Advisory No. 2021-09, Tex. Sec’y of State (July 30, 2021), https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/advisory2021-09.shtml; see also, e.g., Act of June 4, 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., ch. 241, 2021 Tex. Sess. Law Serv. (H.B. 1264) (requiring registrars to send monthly abstract of death certificates of voting-age decedents to voter registrars and Secretary of State); Act of June 14, 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., ch. 573, 2021 Tex. Sess. Law Serv. (S.B. 598) (requiring a risk-limiting audit of certain statewide elections within twenty-four hours of the ballots being counted). 2 Case: 22-50690 Document: 00516523396 Page: 3 Date Filed: 10/26/2022 No. 22-50690 designation and intends to remain.” Id. § 1.015(f) (“Temporary Relocation Provision”). What links these provisions, according to Texas, is the “fundamental …

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