In 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott unilaterally suspended the Texas Election Code by calling in the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, giving him almost unlimited power to suspend or change the laws. In this case, the declaration effectively changed the election code.
Abbott took nearly unprecedented steps by placing limits on the size of public gatherings, instructing restaurants to limit service to take-outs and deliveries instead of dine-ins, prohibiting nursing home visitations and even closing all schools.
While he wasn't the first governor to implement such measures during the pandemic, and while his executive order is far less draconian than others, questions arose regarding the legality of his action.
According to the Texas State Constitution, only the Legislature has the power to suspend laws in the state. However, the Texas State Code does allow him as governor to suspend the provisions of any regulatory statutes for state business or affairs if it could prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster.
The disaster powers are part of the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, which was passed in a 2019 session.
In the May 23 episode of "The Dr. Hotze Report" on Brighteon.TV, Texas lawyer and political figure Jared Woodfill talked about the lawsuits filed against Abbott, which revolve around the suspension of the Texas Election Code and the limited ability of adults to cast their ballots by mail due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
"If you look at each one of Governor Abbott's executive orders related to the election in that year, he made it very clear that he was suspending the Texas Election Code," Woodfill said.
It was the first time that anyone challenged Abbott's executive orders, and Woodfill noted it takes courage and boldness to take on a sitting governor from the same party and say enough is enough. "If it's wrong for the Democrats, it's still wrong for the Republicans," he said.
Abbott changed some of the executive orders to be more consistent with the Texas Election Code. However, he did not change the early voting rule, which he expanded from two weeks to three despite the Code stating clearly that there should only be two weeks of early voting.
"With respect to ballot by mail, we know that's the number one area where voter fraud occurs," Woodfill said. (Related: Detroit whistleblower comes forward, describes massive voter fraud for Biden with repeat ballot counting.)
He explained that after these ballots are sent in, there are also ballot harvesters, who are individuals hired usually by campaigns or parties to go and find applications to vote by mail to make sure that those applications are filled out.
This is where it gets tricky. These people tend to harvest these ballots without being objective and are more likely to want the ballots to align with their own views and desires. "It's too simple, it's too easy to occur, and there are no checks and balances on it," Woodfill said.
But the bigger issue is that the court ruling favoring Abbott's changes to the Texas Election Code has essentially blocked the state AG's ability to prosecute cases related to election fraud.
"And so here we are. This is an extremely important decision that has to be overturned. And so we're looking at ways to get this case in front of not just the Court of Criminal Appeals, but ultimately the Texas Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution in the correct manner, consistent with 70-plus years of election law in this area." (Related: Former Director of National Intelligence prevented by election officials from investigating claims of voter fraud in Nevada.)
He went on: "The new ruling is completely contrary to the Constitution into 70 years of jurisprudence in this area, and it's got to change because no voter fraud will be prosecuted ever again in Texas."
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Watch the May 23 episode of "The Dr. Hotze Report" video below.
Catch new episodes of "The Dr. Hotze Report" every Monday at 5-6 p.m. on Brighteon.TV.