Houston Area Urban League v. Abbott

State: Texas

Filed: 2021

Court: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Plaintiffs: The Arc Texas, Houston Justice, Houston Area Urban League, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Jeffrey Lamar Clemons

Defendant: Governor Gregory Abbott and various state officials

Counsel: The Arc, NAACP LDF, Reed Smith LLP

Overview: For the past 150 years, the State of Texas has had a long track record of excluding and discouraging Black and Latino residents of the State from exercising their fundamental right to vote. Voters with disabilities, including Black and Latino voters with disabilities, have also persistently experienced barriers in accessing their right to vote in Texas. The State’s policies of exclusion and restrictive voting laws have resulted in chronically low voter turnout. In passing S.B. 1, instead of making the election process safer or more secure, the law eliminates methods and opportunities of voting disproportionately used by Black and Latino voters, burdening or effectively disenfranchising these voters by raising the time, cost, and risk associated with exercising their constitutional right to vote. The law also erects barriers to voting that will disproportionately and unlawfully deny equal access to individuals with disabilities.

Case Documents

Second Amended Complaint

Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss 

Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on ADA and 504 Claims

Exhibits Supporting Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on ADA and 504 Claims

Plaintiffs’ Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Claims Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act

Press Releases

Lawsuit Filed Challenging New Texas Law Targeting Voting Rights

Federal Court Strikes Down Texas’ Election Law Provisions Restricting Assistance for Limited English-Speaking and Disabled Voters

Fighting for an Inclusive Democracy

Texas Law Punishes Voters

Landmark Trial Challenging Regressive Voting Rights Provisions in Texas Senate Bill 1 Concludes

Related Media

AP News: Texas flagged 27,000 mail ballots for rejection in primary

CNN: How new voting restrictions threaten ballot access for disabled voters

Courthouse News Service: Voters with disabilities face new barriers over Texas voting law

Democracy Docket: Texas Omnibus Voter Suppression Law S.B. 1 Will Be Put to the Test at Federal Trial

KAH Consulting Group: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Rallies Against Texas Senate Bill 1 in San Antonio

KWTX: Texans with disabilities fear new restrictions on voting help could mean criminal charges at the polls

Law360 Pulse: Texas DA Ordered To Face Voter Discrimination Suits

Law360: How Lawyers Are Mobilizing To Protect The Vote

NewsOne: NAACP Legal Defense Fund Leads Challenge Against New Texas Voter Suppression Law

New York Times: New Voting Laws Add Difficulties for People With Disabilities

New York Times: ‘My Vote Was Rejected’: Trial Underway in Texas Over New Voting Law

Pew: Voters with Disabilities Face New Ballot Restrictions Ahead of Midterms

Politico: Why Election Laws in Georgia and Texas Remain a Threat

The Texas Tribune: Gov. Greg Abbott signs Texas voting bill into law, overcoming Democratic quorum breaks

The Texas Tribune: What’s at Stake in the Long-Awaited Trial Over Texas’s Sweeping 2021 Elections Law

USA Today: New election laws could create barriers for voters with disabilities

Vox: Democrats’ fears about restricting mail-in voting were confirmed in Texas