Texas House Orders Arrest Of Missing Democrats
Texas House members voted 80-12 on Tuesday to authorize law enforcement to track down absent Texas House Democrats in the state and to bring them back to the Texas Capitol. If needed, the action can happen "under warrant of arrest, if necessary".
This is the second time the Texas House has authorized law enforcement to track down absent Democrat lawmakers. In the first special session, Speaker Dade Phelan issued only one civil arrest warrant and by the time he had, the Democrat lawmaker had already gone back to Washington, D.C.
According to the Texas Tribune, this time could be different though since Democrat lawmakers are showing back up in Austin and throughout Texas.
This latest authorization could yield different results as multiple Democrats in recent days have trickled back either to the Capitol in Austin or to their districts across the state. It was immediately unclear Tuesday afternoon whether Phelan intended to sign similar warrants for Democrats such as Reps. Celia Israel of Austin and Jon Rosenthal of Houston, both of whom said earlier in the day they were back in Texas.
The vote in the Texas House came hours after Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Speaker Dade Phelan, and Texas Attorney General appealed to the Supreme Court a District Judge's ruling prohibiting lawmakers from being arrested.
The Texas Constitution says that the House can compel lawmakers to show up and that they can be arrested if needed.
The second special session ends on September 5 and lawmakers in the Texas House have many items, including voter integrity legislation to vote on.