(ConservativeHub.com) – Texas House Democrats have been engaged in an elaborate game of cat and mouse with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) as part of an effort to defeat a new Republican-led election law. The Democrats have broken quorum multiple times, forcing Phelan to issue civil arrest warrants on dozens of them to force their attendance for a floor vote on the measure. A lower court issued a temporary restraining order blocking the execution of that warrant, but then the Supreme Court had different ideas.
On Tuesday, August 17, the Texas Supreme Court sided with Gov. Abbott and Speaker Phelan, ordering the revocation of a Travis County district court judge’s temporary restraining order. This action paves the way for the forced presence of Democratic lawmakers at the House Chamber.
Texas Supreme Court says House Democrats can be arrested and brought to the Capitol, siding with Republicans trying to secure a quorum https://t.co/0T0BkAZHbx
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) August 18, 2021
The all-Republican court took a narrow approach to the request to overturn the lower court order. It only considered whether or not the Texas Constitution granted the House speaker the authority to “physically compel the attendance” of the absent lawmakers. The Court’s written opinion concluded it did and ordered the district court to withdraw the restraining order.
More than 50 Democrats fled to Washington, DC, in July to break quorum, and 26 pledged to stay in the nation’s capital as long as it takes to block the new election bill. However, three Democrats returned to Texas on August 19, which reportedly gave the chamber enough members to establish a quorum. The legislature is resuming business, finally putting an end to this intense stand-off.
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