Texas Supreme Court Rules Laura Pressley Election Challenge “Moot”
Protracted case comes down in favor of Council Member Greg Casar
By Michael King,
2:10PM, Sun. Jan. 27, 2019
[UPDATE BELOW] In an opinion released Friday, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Laura Pressley’s contest of the 2014 runoff election of Council Member Greg Casar is “moot.” The court overruled the lower court’s grant of sanctions against Pressley. Casar was re-elected to Council from District 4 in 2016.
In its opinion, the Court said: “We conclude that the appeal is moot to the extent it challenges the election results but that the award of sanctions was an abuse of discretion. Without hearing oral argument, we reverse the court of appeals’ judgment affirming the sanctions award, vacate that award, and dismiss the appeal of the election contest as moot.”
In a statement released Friday, Casar said in part: “Today, the Texas Supreme Court confirmed what everyone has known all along: In 2014, 35% of District 4 voters cast a ballot for Laura Pressley, and 65% of them cast their ballots for me. … Every step of the way, the authorities ruled that Pressley’s attacks against Austin’s elections were completely without merit. …
“With everything happening in our country right now, it’s unfortunate how much time and resources have been lost in this case.”
UPDATE: In a statement released late Friday, Pressley declared victory. “Election Integrity Prevails!” she wrote. The brief statement reiterated that the Supreme Court found that Pressley’s claims were “not frivolous” on their face, and therefore reversed the lower court’s imposition of sanctions against Pressley and her attorney, David Rogers. The statement does not mention that the Court found Pressley’s contest of the election “moot,” and also promised a “more detailed” analysis of the opinion to come this week.
For more on this story, see “The Never-Ending Election Contest,” June 1, 2018, and follow the Daily News and next week’s print edition.