Texas Democratic Party v. Hughs, No. 20-50667 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against the Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for allegedly imposing a voter-registration requirement that violates federal law. After the district court denied the Secretary's motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (b)(6), the Secretary noticed an interlocutory appeal, and plaintiffs moved for summary affirmance or dismissal of the Secretary's appeal as frivolous.
The Fifth Circuit held that the Secretary's appeal is not frivolous because it presents an important question that has not been resolved by the court: whether and to what extent the exception in Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 157 (1908), to sovereign immunity permits plaintiffs to sue the Secretary in an as-applied challenge to a law enforced by local officials. Accordingly, the court denied the motion for summary affirmance and the motion to dismiss the appeal as frivolous.