For the second consecutive election cycle, the Texas Supreme Court ruled against Republican candidates’ efforts to remove Libertarian candidates from the general election ballot. Once again, the Court determined the plaintiffs filed too late.

The lawsuit was filed on August 8 – 18 days before the statutory deadline to remove a candidate’s name from the ballot – seeking a declaration that nearly two dozen Libertarian candidates for state and federal office were ineligible because they had not paid a filing fee or submitted signatures in lieu of a filing fee (That requirement remains the subject of a pending legal challenge by the Libertarian Party.).

Under the plaintiffs’ legal theory, the Libertarian candidates became ineligible when they were nominated in April, yet “nearly four months passed between the facts giving rise to the relators’ claims and the filing of this mandamus action,” the Court noted in its per curiam opinion. “When the emergency timeframe is entirely the product of avoidable delay in bringing the matter to the courts, our precedent is clear that judicial relief altering the conduct of an election is disfavored.”

A similar lawsuit was filed in 2020 after the deadline to remove candidates from the ballot and was similarly rejected for being non-timely.

As in 2020, the Court did not address the merits of the claim. “We do not suggest that the relief the relators seek would or would not have been appropriate had the petition been filed more speedily.”

GOV (Likely R): Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) campaign released a new ad, “Securing the Future of Texas,” this time featuring Abbott providing a bit of his biography.

Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke was hospitalized with a bacterial infection and has canceled several campaign events while he recuperates in El Paso.

LTGOV (Lean R): Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s (R) campaign announced a statewide bus tour that would include 131 stops.

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