Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Judges Aren’t Kings. This One Didn’t Get the Memo

Photo: Darylann Elmi/Getty Images
In the United States, we don’t have kings or queens of any variety.
Still, some judges apparently think they are philosopher-kings, and an order released Tuesday by a federal district court judge in Texas shows he may be in that group.
Judge Fred Biery’s order that state officials allow mail-in voting for all eligible voters in upcoming elections seems totally disconnected from the law and reads like a manifesto from a wannabe philosopher-king, complete with rhetorical flourishes, endnotes, and appendices.
There are many issues with the opinion.
First, issues of Texas state law are still working their way through Texas state courts—and federal courts often abstain from ruling in such situations.
Second, Biery brushed aside the concerns of state officials over potential voter fraud, stating in colorful language, “The Court finds the Grim Reaper’s scepter of pandemic disease and death is far more serious than an unsupported fear of voter fraud in this sui generis experience.” He went on to say, “Indeed, if vote by mail fraud is real, logic dictates that all voting should be in person.”
Hold on.
He acknowledges that between 2005 and 2018, there were 73 prosecutions in Texas for voter fraud, but he buries in the endnotes that “[a]lmost half of [these fraud] cases involved the improper use of absentee ballots, where voter fraud occurs most often.” That’s consistent with information compiled by The Heritage Foundation in its election fraud database.
So, if half of the recorded voter fraud incidents in Texas involved absentee ballots, and research shows that is where voter fraud most often occurs, why reject the state’s concerns that incidents of voter fraud will increase when the use of absentee ballots increases?
Also, as a matter of law, he granted relief to parties who didn’t ask for it and who weren’t even part of the lawsuit. The suit was brought by three individuals who wanted to vote by mail in the upcoming Texas Democratic runoff primary election, the Texas Democratic Party, and the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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