The Supreme Court of Texas has finally issued its ruling concerning the runaway lawmakers in its state. The court has temporarily stopped a judge’s order that had prevented Greg Abbott, the Republican Governor of Texas, from arresting a significant number of the states Democrat legislators who had fled to Washington, D.C. this past month in an attempt to deny quorum on a group of bills waiting to be passed.
The group of AWOL Democrats departed Texas on a chartered flight directly to Washington D.C. back in July as a way to keep the Texas House from holding a vote on measures that were designed to preserve voter integrity, a piece of legislation that would stop biological males from competing in women’s athletics, and a series of immigration restrictions. While in D.C., the AWOL Texas Democrats attempted to lobby for the passage of the FOr the People “voter rights” act and sparked a small-scale outbreak of COVID-19 infections.
After a series of weeks hiding away from their jobs in Texas, and sporting a bill of roughly $1.5 million in expenses, a few of the AWOL Democrats limped back, abandoning about two dozen of their remaining group back in the nation’s capital.
Gov. Greg Abbott officially announced, when the group of lawmakers left the state, that they would be arrested if they attempted to show up to vote, but this past Monday, a judge put forth a signed order that sought to block the governor from executing his plan.
“The order, signed by Travis County State District Judge Brad Urrutia, keeps Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan from ‘issuing any warrant or other instrument’ and ‘detaining, confining, or otherwise restricting a Texas House Democrat’s movement without his or her consent,'” as reported by CNN. The order also sought to restrict law enforcement officer from arresting the “quorum-busting” Dems.
This past Tuesday however, the Supreme Court of Texas put out a message that overturned the previous measure, “temporarily block[ing] a state district judge’s temporary restraining order that had prevented the arrest of Texas House Democrats, who left the state last month in an attempt to stop the passage of restrictive voting bills,” stated CNN in another report. “The ruling means that many of the Democratic lawmakers who returned to Texas but continue to break quorum during the second session could now be at risk for arrest if the House votes to compel their attendance.”
The House of Texas has still yet to reach a quorum, which is preventing the state’s legislators from voting to compel attendance at a special session, seemingly saving the Texas Democrats from facing law enforcement, at least for now.
The office of Abbot lauded the ruling. As part of a statement, a spokesperson for the governor’s office made note that the Supreme Court “swiftly rejected this dangerous attempt by Texas Democrats to undermine our Constitution and avoid doing the job they were elected to do.”
“We look forward to the Supreme Court upholding the rule of law and stopping another stall tactic by the Texas Democrats,” added the spokesperson.