A federal judge in San Antonio late Monday issued a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting county elections officials from removing any name that appears on that discredited list of 'potential non citizen voters' that was released last month by the Texas Secretary of State, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery, a Clinton appointee, only covers the state's eight largest counties, but it is expected to be extended across the state.
Luis Vera, the lead attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens, says from the beginning, the release of the list was an attempt to 'purge' the rolls of Democrat-leaning voters, and an attempt to intimidate lawful immigrant voters.
"You were about to have 95,000 people come forward to prove their citizenship, when we already know that over half of them are U.S. citizens," Vera said.
When the list was released, many Republicans, including President Trump, seized on it as evidence that illegal immigrants were marching en masse to the polls and voting in Texas elections, but upon further review, the veracity of the list began to fall apart, and now it threatens to derail the appointment of the new Texas Secretary of State, who is the state's top elections official.
The list included the names of 95,000 people who were not U.S. citizens when they obtained the documentation, usually a driver's license, they used to comply with the Texas Voter ID law when they voted in elections between 2008 and 2016.
But the documents were obtained as far back as 1995, and with 50,000 immigrants becoming naturalized citizens in Texas each year, civil rights groups quickly pointed out that the list does not say whether the 51,000 of the people became U.S. citizens in the 12 years between the4 time that documents were first obtained, and when the first votes were counted.
It also turned out that many of the names were misspellings, duplications, and were on the list improperty. For example, several elected county officials turned up on the list.
"This thing was strictly aimed at immmigrants, and that's what the issue is here," Vera said. "The state finally had to admit that was true."
Vera and other civil rights lawyers have argued that it is a violation of the 14th Amendment to require certain citizens, in this case immigrants, to show more proof of legality to vote than is required of natural born citizens. In Texas' case, all voters have to show a photo ID.
And the fact that the documents obtained by the people who were on the list were legally obtained by the DPS, mainly drivers' licenses, shows that the individuals, unlike many claims, were not 'illegal immigrants,' because people in Texas illegally can't obtain Texas driver's licenses.