HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The Texas Supreme Court denied Harris County’s request to temporarily block the implementation of Senate Bill 1750 on Sept. 1, which will abolish the Harris County Election Administrator’s Office, the Harris County Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday.
The county had asked for emergency relief from the Supreme Court. Officials said they made this request because if they were to refuse to get rid of the elections office, they are not sure how that would affect the November 2023 elections.
The court also scheduled an oral argument on Nov. 28 over the state’s appeal regarding a Travis County judge that ruled in support of Harris County.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office released the statement below about the recent decision.
“I am disappointed that the Texas Supreme Court is quietly allowing the legislature to illegally target Harris County, instead of considering the arguments and timely deciding whether Senate Bill 1750 violates the constitution. We first learned of today’s decision from media, instead of from the court itself,” said Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee. “From the start, Republican legislators pushed this law abolishing the Harris County Elections Administrator’s Office to undermine local elections and score political points on the backs of the good people who run them. By setting the law to go into effect September 1, and not passing a single law to assist in the transition or provide additional funding, Republican legislators are making the job of running this November’s election much more difficult. It was on the Texas Supreme Court to rein in these bad-faith lawmakers. The court failed Harris County residents.”
Texas Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) supported the court’s decision on Tuesday.
“This bill has always been about performance not politics. I commend the Texas Supreme Court on their decision to restore voter trust, accountability, and transparency in Harris County elections,” said Texas Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). “September 1st was designed for an orderly transition and Harris County wasted a lot of time with this TRO (temporary restraining order).