Posted on October 22, 2020 Election Protection Share: Following the ruling, plaintiffs file new motion for preliminary injunction for relief under the Voter Rights Act to require the statewide mask mandate in Texas be applied at polling locations. Law 360 recently covered the Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling in Mi Familia Vota v. Abbott — the case challenging unsafe and unequal election practices in Texas during a pandemic. Free Speech For People, the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, and the law firm of Lyons & Lyons represent Mi Familia Vota, the Texas NAACP, and an individual Texas voter in this case. Following the ruling, the law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel joined the plaintiffs’ legal team. “The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday revived a challenge to a Texas election policy allowing poll workers and voters to forego face coverings at polling places, ruling that a Texas federal court does have the authority to strike that provision if it sees fit,” the article states. Following a prior dismissal of the lawsuit by a Texas district court, the plaintiffs won a motion to expedite their appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The plaintiffs argue that Texas’s voting practices unfairly burdened Latino, Black and Indigenous voters by disproportionately putting them at risk of infection from the coronavirus. On Tuesday, we filed, on behalf of the plaintiffs, a motion for preliminary injunction before the federal district court in San Antonio to strike out the mask mandate exemption for Texas’s polling places. In a brief supporting the motion, the plaintiffs argue that voting practices that disproportionately disenfranchise Black and Latino voters are prohibited by Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. “Wearing a mask during the pandemic places no more burden on voters than having to wear a shirt that does not contain a political endorsement on it, having to bring an identification to polling places, refraining from smoking at polling places, and refraining from carrying a firearm at polling places. And whatever burden there may be is far outweighed by the burden that mask-less crowds at polling places will place on Black and Latino voters, warranting immediate injunctive relief,” the brief states. Read the entire article on the Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling here and the brief on the motion for preliminary injunction here. Read more about Mi Familia Vota vs Abbott here.