So, as 2014 winds down (and as the whirlwind of holiday events overtakes me), here’s a brief sampler of some of the issues likely to affect Texas election lawyers in 2015:
1. The Dropping of the Other Shoe
At some point, the U.S. Supreme Court will presumably take a look at Veasey v. Perry. I’d like to be an optimist, but the oligarchs have signaled that they are bored with even the most meritorious arguments regarding systemic racism in Texas elections. I predict that the majority will step gingerly over an angry and honest dissent, with mumbled apologies for having shut the door on the Civil Rights movement. The disaster, if it comes, will be cloaked in language absolving Texas of having introduced “unintentional” and “de minimus” racial bias into its voter I.D. laws.
2. The Windmills at Which We Will Tilt
Once again, legislative bills designed to drag Texas into the mid-20th century of election reform (including electronic registration, same-day registration, instant run-off voting, voting rights for felons, and bipartisan or non-partisan redistricting) will wend their way towards early deaths in committee.
3. Any Thoughts of Election Finance Reform, Civil Rights Protections, or Revitalization of the Voting Rights Act May Now Be Safely Dismissed
Now that the Party of No is firmly and conclusively in charge, you may be assured that any notions you might have had regarding Congressional responses to Shelby County v. Holder or Citizens United v. FEC can be dismissed out of hand, at least until the earlier of either the November 2016 elections or hell freezing over.