A federal judge has ruled that all Texans may cast ballots this fall by mail, writing that in a time of pandemic, voters “have the option to choose voting by letter carrier versus voting with disease carriers.”

The Washington Post writes:

In a sharply worded ruling, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery ordered that fear of contracting the virus be considered a disability under Texas’s mail-in ballot law. Under Texas’s election law, only absentees, those with an existing disability, or people over the age of 65 had been allowed to seek a mail-in ballot.

The judge wrote that by not expanding the ability to vote, many would stay home and that those who do vote would not represent the will of the people.

Judge Biery also admonished the state’s attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton, who:

“…probably engaged in illegal voter intimidation by threatening to criminally prosecute local elections officials who advised voters afraid of the virus to vote by mail.”

Paxton has promised to appeal the ruling.

““Americans now seek Life without fear of pandemic, Liberty to choose their leaders in an environment free of disease and the pursuit of Happiness without undue restrictions, yet there are some among us who would, if they could, nullify those aspirational ideas to return to the not so halcyon and not so thrilling days of yesteryear of the Divine Right of Kings …” – U.S. District Judge Fred Biery