On August 16, Texas asked the Fifth Circuit to issue a stay in Voting for America v Andrade, 12-40914. On August 17, the voting rights organizations who had filed the lawsuit filed a brief, asking the Fifth Circuit not to issue a stay. The U.S. District Court had struck down several Texas restrictions on voter registration drives. Among the laws struck down was one making it illegal for anyone who doesn’t live in Texas to help register voters in Texas. Here is the state’s brief. Here is the opposing brief from the voter registration organization.
The Fifth Circuit is one of the circuits that has never ruled on in-state residency requirements for petition circulators or registration drive workers. The Fifth Circuit includes Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. None of those three states has ever barred out-of-state petition circulators. Circuits that have struck down in-state residency requirements for petitioners include the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits. The Eighth Circuit has upheld them, at least in instances at which the plaintiffs couldn’t show real harm.