The Texas Democrat Party has dropped its challenge to Green Party candidates remaining on the ballot. Instead, the Democrats will pursue their challenge to the funding of the Green petition drive in a lower court for civil penalties.
The reasoning behind this decision may be two-fold. On the one-hand, Democrats may not want to be seen publicly discouraging voter choice by knocking a party off of the ballot (although Texas Rep. Mark Strama has pointed out that he can find almost no support from either party for ballot access reform in the state house).
However, a more practical point may be that the Texas Supreme Court is an all-Republican institution. Whether correct or not, there may be a perception among those in the Texas Democratic Party pursuing the lawsuit that a decision in the state’s highest court would go against the Democrats on partisan grounds.
Last week the Texas Supreme Court overturned a previous district court decision to bar the Texas Green candidates from the ballot, pending a final decision in the case. However, the Supreme Court had still planned to consider if the petition drive conducted by the Greens was legal. The funding for much of the drive appears to have originated with groups tied to Republicans. With this decision by the Texas Democratic Party, the Greens should appear on the ballot.