Texas Democrat leaders fled the state to avoid passing a voting reform bill, Governor Greg Abbott vowed there’d be significant consequences.
This included arresting the elected officials upon their return. It was before a Travis County judge stopped the state from using its authority to arrest the “fleeing Democrats.”
But now, that order has been reversed — and the arrest warrants have been signed.
When leftist lawmakers left Texas to stop a quorum for the voting legislation, they arrived in Washington D.C. to protest Gov. Abbott’s voting bill. They claimed it suppresses voting rights for certain people.
However, state Republicans – and other GOP members across the country – condemned this move.
Critics said the Democrats in question were simply running away from their jobs, and should be punished. And the Governor promised to keep holding special sessions until the bill passed.
Those sessions are coming, and so are the punishments.
From The Hill (as first reported by The Dallas Morning News):
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) has signed arrest warrants for Democratic lawmakers who fled the state to block the passage of a GOP-backed elections overhaul bill.
A spokesperson for Phelan confirmed to The Hill that warrants were signed for 52 absent Democrats, but didn’t provide any additional details.
The Texas House voted 80-12 to send for the absent lawmakers, then the arrest warrants were signed.
Gov. Abbott and other state Republicans have been trying to get the voting legislation passed for months. They say it’s necessary to uphold the election integrity of the state.
The bill would ban around-the-clock voting centers, straight-ticket voting, and any voting facilities in outdoor structures.
Most Democrats were against the bill from the start, and they didn’t want to give the legislation a chance to pass. That’s why they left the House floor in July, where they needed 100 members to establish a quorum.
Some of these officials have returned to Texas, but they haven’t come back to the House floor.
That’s where the arrest warrants come in. This time, they won’t be allowed to run away — they’ll have to stay and do their jobs, even if it means entertaining a bill they don’t support.
So far, Gov. Abbott has been getting his way in this battle.
The Texas leader, a staunch Republican, strongly supports the voting reform legislation. And he’s spoken quite harshly about the Democrat leaders who simply disappeared.