Many businesses and religious institutions that are allowed to remain open under state and local shelter-in-place orders are choosing to close their doors anyway. Samuels says business owners and faith leaders told her that the health of customers and congregations is more important than remaining open.
As states move to adapt election processes in response to the coronavirus, Texas Democrats filed lawsuits in state and federal courts to force Texas to loosen its restrictions on voting by mail. Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, have opposed relaxing such restrictions.
Samuels says Abbott responded to the lawsuit by citing his decision to move primary runoff elections from May to July, which the governor claimed would make it more possible for voters to cast ballots in person.
Also, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing Texas after Abbott issued an order prohibiting the release without cash bail of people who are in jail and have previously been convicted of violent crimes. The suit charges that the order discriminates against poor defendants.
“This is the second lawsuit that has been filed against this executive order, so I think we’re just waiting to see how this plays out in the criminal system,” Samuels says.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.