With the Supreme Court yet to rule, questions inevitably have turned to whether there is any way it will be possible to keep to an April 3 primary. Senator John Cornyn and many election law lawyers think that chance is becoming increasingly remote. In fact, many observers aren’t even certain when the primary could be held if it needs to be moved. Consider the logistical challenges. Even if the Supreme Court rules this week or early next week (by no means certain), the San Antonio court will need time to respond to the Supreme Court’s rulings – unless, of course, the Supreme Court simply orders one or the other maps into effect – but that seems unlikely based on last week’s oral argument.
Presumably, before ruling and producing maps, the San Antonio court would want to get briefing and hear argument, especially if it has to consider claims and issues that were tried in the D.C. case. However, the parties are in Washington for trial in the preclearance case through January 26, meaning that the court likely couldn’t hold a hearing until January 30 at the very earliest. That already bumps up against the February 1 filing deadline – and any hearing in San Antonio well could be later. If the court somehow manages to get briefing, hold a hearing, and get out a ruling by the week of February 6-10, it might be possible to keep things more or less on track by adjusting the front-end deadlines a little by, e.g., shortening (as county associations have suggested) the requirement that military ballots be sent out 45 days before election day.
But bear in mind that the filing period still would need to be reopened for at least a few days, ballot draws would have to occur, and ballots would have to be printed (a two to three week process). That makes for a tight schedule, even if a court order comes in from the San Antonio court before mid-February. It also might be possible to push the date of the primary back a couple of weeks, perhaps in combo with a shortening of the military ballot period.
Full Article: Whither the Texas primary? | TEXAS REDISTRICTING.