The Speaker of the House in Texas, Dade Phelan (R), has signed 52 arrest warrants for the remaining Democrats who have not returned to vote. 58 Democrats fled Texas for Washington D.C.
Two were Senate members, and four have returned, leaving 52 Democrats who are now subject to arrest when they return from Washington.
Democrats who is arrested will then be held in the Senate chambers until the state Senate has a quorum.
As The Washington Post reported:
Phelan spokesman Enrique Marquez said warrants were signed for the 52 Democrats who failed to return during the fifth day of the House’s second special session, leaving the chamber eight members short of a quorum.
Phelan signed the arrest warrants just as soon as the Texas Supreme Court ruled that they were eligible for arrest for refusing to show up during an emergency session of the legislature. The Democrats had found a Travis Countyjudhge willing to overlook Texas law in order to place an injunction on the arrests, but the Texas Supreme Court tossed his decision by the wayside the very next day.
Renae Eze, an Abbott spokeswoman said:
“The Supreme Court of Texas 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.”
The Texas Tribune reported:
“The 52 warrants represent all but 15 Democrats in the lower chamber. There were at least 11 present Tuesday. There were no additional new Democrats on the floor Tuesday after four returned a day earlier — and drew the wrath of some Democratic colleagues still in Washington, and prompted a renewed push inside the party to hold the line.”
The Texas Democrats fled the state last month to go to Washington, D.C., in an effort to stop legitimate democratic processes from being carried out by the state’s legislature because they lacked the power to stop the bills from passing.
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The Texas Democrats then endured weeks of embarrassment after multiple members who traveled to Washington, D.C., tested positive after the overwhelming majority of the members had been photographed not wearing masks on private flights to the nation’s capital.