Democrats who fled the state of Texas to avoid voting on Republicans’ election integrity bills can be arrested again, according to the state Supreme Court. Over 60 Democrat state legislators hopped on private jets and ran away to Washington, D.C. as they skipped the vote. They also skipped masks and infected others with COVID-19 in their fervor to ensure that democracy did not happen. The Texas House voted to have them arrested when they returned to the state, but a Democrat judge overturned the order, granting them 14 days’ reprieve. But the state Supreme Court said “nope” to that plans.
On Sunday, state district judge Brad Urrutia signed an order blocking the arrests of the Democrats who fled the state. This meant that for 14 days, they could return home without any repercussions and without doing their jobs. The Democrats fled in mid-July in an effort to block the vote on Republicans’ bill. This move was denounced by state Republicans, who voted to have the Democrat traitors arrested when they return to the state and Governor Abbott, who voted to see it done. Democrats, Abbott said at the time, would be held “until they get their job done.” The order on Sunday may seem like a win for Democrats, but the Texas Attorney General ruined their celebration on Tuesday.
“In response to my mandamus filing, the Texas Supreme Court just entered an order stopping the activist judge in Austin, TX,” a tweet from the AG’s office says. The Austin American-Statesman reports:
In response, the state’s highest civil court blocked enforcement of Urrutia’s order while justices weighed the legal issues. The court’s brief order, which provided no reason for its action, gave House Democrats until Thursday afternoon to file a response.
The court action came as Democrats continued to deny Republicans a quorum in the House despite Monday’s return of four lawmakers who participated in the walkout — Reps. James Talarico of Round Rock and Joe Moody, Mary Gonzalez and Art Fierro of the El Paso area.
That pushed the Democratic attendance total to 13 out of 67 members. All 82 Republicans were present, including Rep. Travis Clardy, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and sitting in a quarantine room just off the House floor.
Some of the Democrats have returned to Texas, but many remain in D.C., safely away from any danger of having to do the job the voters elected them to do.