Texas Democrats lost another effort to win 2020 elections in the courts—this time failing to block a decades-old Democrat election law they now claim unfairly helps Republicans.

On Friday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed last year by the Texas Democrat Party and three national Democrat groups challenging a state ballot-order law passed by Democrats over 50 years ago.

The law grants the top spots on general election ballots to candidates whose party won the last gubernatorial election.

Plaintiffs argued this “position bias” puts an “undue burden on the right to vote” and unfairly hurts Democrats because uninformed voters would be more likely to randomly pick Republicans over Democrats—though candidates’ party affiliations are shown on the ballots.

The U.S. district court ruled the ballot-order law does not prevent any citizens from voting and does not affect a candidate’s chances of winning an election.

“I applaud the court for dismissing this case and preserving Texas election law,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement following the ruling. “The Ballot Order Statute clearly operates within the law. I will continue working tirelessly to ensure that our election laws are followed properly and our democratic process operates safely, freely, and fairly.”

Texas’ ballot-order law was passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature and Democrat governor in 1963, an era of Democrat supremacy in the state.

Democrats filed similar challenges in Arizona, Georgia, and Florida—which all have ballot-order rules like Texas and also have Republican governors—but did not sue states with Democrat governors, where the same law works to their benefit.

In Texas and across the country, Democrats have spent months suing to make state election processes more favorable to their party’s candidates, hoping courts will grant them a competitive edge in 2020.

Last month, a federal judge dismissed another Democrat lawsuit trying to block a Texas law that eliminates straight-party voting starting in the 2020 general election.

Earlier this year, Texas Democrats filed federal and state lawsuits pushing universal vote-by-mail—a process more vulnerable to fraud and abuse than in-person voting—using fear of the coronavirus as an excuse.

Paxton’s team fought back to defend Texas election laws, which limit who can use mail voting. Democrats dropped their losing state-court suit after the Texas Supreme Court dealt a blow to their argument that lack of immunity to COVID-19 is a “disability.”

Democrats’ federal vote-by-mail case is pending appeal in the U.S. 5th Circuit.

Once again, the Texas lawsuits were part of Democrats’ nationwide litigation strategy coordinated by Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, Marc Elias. Elias represents the Democratic National Committee and a host of national Democrat groups, and was one of seven Democrat attorneys working to overturn Texas’ ballot-order law.

Billionaire Democrat donor George Soros is helping bankroll Elias’ lawsuits. In 2016, Soros gave a group run by Elias $5 million to fund left-wing election law litigation.

Elias is also behind a lawsuit by Texas Democrats that is pushing courts to revive “mobile” early voting, which the legislature banned in 2019. Taxpayers had called for an end to the practice, known as “rolling polling,” after local governments routinely abused the process to target voters favorable to their tax and spending proposals. Democrats claim the change will lead to “substantially fewer early voting opportunities for young voters,” who they expect to vote for Democrats.

That’s the motivation behind the lawsuits: increasing Democrats’ chances of winning in 2020.

Democrats haven’t won a statewide election in Texas in over 25 years. They’re now fighting in court for every advantage they can get.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.