Plaintiffs disappointed as judge declines to issue preliminary injunction
AUSTIN, TX—Today the district court declined to issue a preliminary injunction in the case fighting
Proposition 1 in Travis County.
“We’re obviously disappointed in the decision,” responded Stephen Casey, counsel for the plaintiffs. “As
we read the law, any change in voting triggers Section 2 protections of the Voting Rights Act, and we
provided several cases for the judge to follow.”
Casey continued, “It is silly for the District’s attorney to suggest that the suit is ‘condescending’ or
“offensive.’ Two of the plaintiffs are from ethnic minorities. How condescending or offensive is it for
them to file suit to protect their rights? Data publicly available from both the Texas Education Agency
and a non-profit literacy group, Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, demostrated there are significant
literacy problems in Travis County. If that is the case, a change in the voting language of a ballot
proposition, far beyond what is permitted by law, can have a harmful effect on the ability of some voters
to understand what is on the ballot.”
Casey refers to language the District added beyond what the law permits, language that promotes the
ballot proposition. The proposition is printed below, with the extra language in bold-face type.
Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $0.129 per $100 valuation in Central Health, also
known as the Travis County Healthcare District, for the 2013 tax year, a rate that
exceeds the district’s rollback tax rate. The proposed ad valorem tax rate exceeds the ad
valorem tax rate most recently adopted by the district by $0.05 per $100 valuation;
funds will be used for improved healthcare in Travis County, including support for a
new medical school consistent with the mission of Central Health, a site for a new
teaching hospital, trauma services, specialty medicine such as cancer care,
community-wide health clinics, training for physicians, nurses and other healthcare
professionals, primary care, behavioral and mental healthcare, prevention and
wellness programs, and/or to obtain federal matching funds for healthcare services.
Don Zimmerman, Treasurer for TCTU SPAC, responded similarly. “We disagree with the judge’s assessment,
particularly that we could point to no authority regarding this change.
The Voting Rights Act considers any change in voting enough to warrant protection. We will be discussing our next legal option.”