Although that it seems undisputed that both the Republican and Democratic Parties missed the August 26 Texas deadline for filing a certificate naming their presidential and vice-presidential nominees, there are two Texas Supreme Court decisions that say that candidates should not suffer the loss of ballot access due to the mistakes of state party officials. The cases are Davis v Taylor, 930 SW 2d 581, and Bird v Rothstein, 930 SW 2d 586. The first case put a Republican nominee for State Court of Appeals Justice on the November ballot; the second one put a Democratic nominee for state house on the November ballot.
Texas parties play a big role in Texas primary elections. Candidates running for a party nomination file declarations of candidacy with their party, not with any county or state official. Therefore, party officials have serious responsibilities for certifying various kinds of paperwork, and sometimes they make mistakes.
Given the Davis and Bird precedents, it seems plausible that Texas cannot enforce its law that requires unqualified parties to file a notice with the Secretary of State on January 2 of any election year, that it intends to petition later that year. The responsibility to file such a form rests with party officers. If they fail to file the form, but the party later submits a petition and nominates candidates, the candidates ought to be able to use the Davis and Bird precedents, along with any precedent created this year to help John McCain and Barack Obama, to avoid suffering any consequences for the failure to file the form. This policy also raises equal protection problems for the state, relative to independent candidates. In 2004, Ralph Nader submitted his independent presidential petition two weeks late. He submitted it on the more lenient deadline for minor party petitions, but the federal courts upheld the earlier deadline and kept Nader off the ballot.