Texas Supreme Court Hands Gov. Abbott Major Victory, Rules Democrats Can Be Arrested for Not Showing Up to Legislature

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It was reported yesterday that Texas Democrats who fled the state could return home without concerns of being arrested.

In a lower court, a Democrat state district judge issued an order prohibiting their arrest.

Now the Texas Supreme Court has voided this lower court ruling that blocked the arrests of the Democrats who don’t show up for the year’s second special legislative session.

This hands Gov. Abbott a major victory. Democrats have until Thursday at 4 p.m. to respond to the court. Democrats who are arrested would not face criminal charges and could not be jailed or fined, the report says.

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.”

Democrats took an expensive trip the Washington D.C. to protest election integrity laws in their home state.

The Texas House voted to send law enforcement after Democratic legislators who left the state to block the chamber from passing restrictive voting legislation, according to Forbes. If necessary, warrants will be issued for their arrest. This measure will likely have no effect while the lawmakers remain out of state, the report added.

Fifty-seven Democratic House lawmakers left the state on and traveled to Washington, D.C. This move was made in order to prevent the chamber from having the necessary votes to pass a restrictive voting bill.

A civil warrant was issued for the arrest of Democratic Texas State Rep. Philip Cortez. After Cortez returned to Austin from Washington, D.C., Republican Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dade Phelan, signed a civil warrant for Cortez’s arrest.

Cortez and other Texas Democrats flew to D.C. in order to break the quorum in the House and stop the Texas GOP from passing voting bills.

The House Democrats obtained a temporary restraining order on Sunday, blocking the GOP from having them forcibly returned to the House chamber.

“The restraining order prevents the lawmakers from being arrested, detained or confined in any way for two weeks,” reports say. “The Democrats will now be able to continue to obstruct the legislation until at least August 20th, when Republicans will have an opportunity to challenge the order in a scheduled hearing.”

“State District Judge Brad Urrutia, a Democrat, granted the temporary restraining order late Sunday night restricting Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan from ‘detaining, confining or otherwise restricting’ the free movement of House Democrats within the state or issuing any warrants ordering their confinement,” the Texas Tribune reported.