PILF Seeks to Intervene in the Texas Noncitizen Voter Removal Case

(SAN ANTONIO, TX.) – March 1, 2019: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a motion to intervene in defense of Texas’ efforts to assist in the identification and removal of noncitizens registered to vote in the state.

The Foundation seeks to intervene in the ongoing case against Texas’ recent guidance to counties offering voter list maintenance leads on potential noncitizens registered to vote. PILF wishes to share its concerns about attacks on protected speech and attempts to chill reasonable efforts to clear voter rolls of ineligible registrants. The Motion to Intervene, filed today, notes:

By characterizing [the State of Texas’] reporting on efforts to maintain an accurate voter registration roll as “voter intimidation” designed to “create fear” and “stoke public anxiety,” this case presents an alarming attack on the power of public officials, and their ancillary rights to participate in the public discourse about the actions of their office … To allege that communications such as these constitute threats, coercion, and voter intimidation is an attack on both constitutionally protected speech and on the power of a state election official to manage elections and voter registration.

LULAC and its allies are heavily invested in chilling Texas’ ability to positively identify and remove noncitizens registered to vote,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “This is the end-game for strategy for those who wish to confront the greater election integrity cause. If the plaintiffs prove successful, an official or private party could be accused of voter intimidation for simply communicating concerns about ineligible voter activity.”

The Foundation will make various arguments that it believes would not otherwise be made by the State of Texas.

LULAC’s interpretation of the voter intimidation portion of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional as applied

The VRA plainly requires intimidation, threats, or coercion to actually occur to properly invoke the statute. LULAC and others would have the court rule that communications regarding voter list maintenance efforts be deemed intimidating. LULAC’s allegations seek to expand the Voting Rights Act beyond what the drafters intended and what courts have allowed.

LULAC and others are pleading inadequate facts

The current complaint before the court contains allegations that even if there were found true, cannot entitle relief requested under the Constitution or Voting Rights Act of 1965.  

The Motion to Intervene as Defendant and Proposed Answer by Defendant-Intervenor PILF filings can be found, here. Case number 5:19-cv-00074 (LULAC et. al. v. Texas) is proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas – San Antonio Division.

Attorneys for the Public Interest Legal Foundation are J. Christian Adams and Kaylan L. Phillips. Andy Taylor from the Andy Taylor & Associates, P.C. serves as local counsel.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is the nation’s most active public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and ensuring the integrity of American elections – bringing more than a dozen cases to enforce voter list maintenance obligations and inspection rights under federal law in federal courts across the nation in addition to serving as amicus in more than a dozen voting law cases. The Foundation also works with election officials and policymakers to improve the integrity of elections.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. ###