Harris County, Texas, Collins discussed on Opening Arguments

Opening Arguments


Hey everybody this is andrew. We are not going to have the opportunity to cover all of the late breaking cases as i record this set about one a m on tuesday election day november. The third. this is also going to be completely unedited for the same reasons. But i really really wanted to get a quick breakdown out for you. Guys in ho hots versus kyle hotz versus holland's Which is the harris county texas case that you might have seen in the news. I'm going to give you a quick recap on what's happened because a lot of things broke over the weekend and very very late monday night and i think this is highly illustrative of the kinds of tactics that we are seeing the republican party in desperation. Trying to put into practice. Let me be clear l. Let me cut to the punchline. I if you voted. In harris county texas and parenthetically harris county is the largest county in texas. It has over sixteen percent. It's got one sixth of the population of the state of texas. Four point seven million people. I mean this has pretty much all of houston in it. You know if you're if you're thinking like oh a county. Yeah this is almost like. I said it's four point seven million people and here's what happened. The top election official in harris county. Chris hollins right. The harris county clerk put to policies into place one of them. And that's the live puppy he say hi to lily everybody anyway. One of those policies the collins put into place setup drive through curbside voting early voting in harris county and our best estimates are a hundred twenty one hundred twenty seven thousand. People availed themselves of early voting curbside in harris county and the major goal of the republican party. Was i am not making this up to throw those votes away now. We know why they wanted to throw those votes away because those votes are very likely overwhelmingly democratic and as of this morning the polling average in texas is under two percent right. it's trump plus about one and a half so throwing at us. Sixty seventy eighty thousand vote margin for democrats is a pretty good strategy if you were totally evil. So here's the bottom line the good news. You may have heard over the weekend that the texas state supreme court rejected plaintiff's efforts to get those ballots thrown out. I want to tell you that the the federal district court in the us district court for the district of texas southern division. This is judge. Andrew s heynen one of the most conservative judges on that court also denied plaintiff's that relief. So what that means is if you voted curbside drive-thru in harris county. Your vote will count. I'm going to talk about the appeal. I'm going to talk about all of everything going to work through the procedures. But i wanted to get to the punch line. I your vote will count. You don't have to go in person you don't have to worry about being in the zone of uncertainty your vote counts and that's an unambiguously good thing now. The second thing collins did was set up drive-thru curbside voting in harris county for today for election day and hanes opinion also declined to grant relief on that as well however his opinion goes through. I'm here let me kind of break down the legal analysis a little bit by the way both of these. The judge kanaan's opinion and plaintiffs emergency petition to the fifth circuit which is essentially their repeal. are up on the opening arguments website. And we've linked them out from our twitter accounts you can read the underlying documents back to my thought. So for each of the two policies that collins put into place in harris county. The court judge heynen said question number one do plaintiffs have standing in order to seek an injunction getting them the relief that they want a number two if they do have standing am i gonna grant the injunction with respect to throwing away the hundred twenty seven thousand ballots that were already cast curbside. Heynen found no to both right. That was his holding as a matter of law. He said look Plaintiffs don't have standing to get injunctive relief here but even if they did the standard factors for granting injunctive relief weigh heavily in favor of not granting right so to quote from page seven of his opinion if the court had found standing existed it would have denied an injunction as to drive through early voting. So that's super clear. Part of what got folks agitated. Monday night is if you read pages. Eight and nine of hanes opinion. He then goes on to discuss the question of drive through curbside voting on election day and they're heynen reaches a split result. He says i find that the plaintiffs lacked standing here so same holding on that as with respect to the early voting but then he says but if i found that there was standing i would rule that plaintiffs do prevail on injunctive relief on that particular issue and the specific reason for that is texas election code section forty three point zero three one b which says that on election day as opposed to for early voting quote each polling place shall be located inside a building and quote and because external drive by polling temporary. Polling places are not inside a building. He finds that they are now that the plaintiffs are substantially more likely to prevail on the merits and also that the balance of harms changes. Now i'm not going to go through his balance of harms analysis. Because it's ridiculous but but so here's the point. If you're looking at this would say well why would it matter.

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