Texas is like Florida but with less meth and bigger hats.
So it should come as a shock to no one that based on frivolous claims by former President Trump and his cronies, Texas GOP lawmakers wanted to introduce a bill that would make it harder for people of color to vote. Instead of participating in this sham, 52 Democrats all said “fuck this” and flew to Washington, D.C. a month ago to lobby for federal voting reforms, thus halting the vote and pissing off their coworkers.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Dade Phelan signed arrest warrants for all 52 Democrats, after the chamber voted 80-12 to force the renegade lawmakers to return to the statehouse, the Dallas Morning News reports.
The new partisan arrest warrants are civil, not criminal, Republicans told the New York Post.
“People aren’t going to jail, but they got to come back to work,” Republican state Rep. Mayes Middleton said.
The move comes after the Texas Supreme Court authorized the use of law enforcement to bring the runaway lawmakers back to work, thus forcing them to vote on the measure—that would include a ban on 24-hour polling locations, “drive-thru voting and give politicians more control of the voting process in the red state”—which everyone knows they can’t stop.
From the Post:
Less than half of the renegade Lone Star cohort remains in DC as progressives pressure Dems who have returned to Texas to stay away from Austin. Several, including Rep. James Talarico, have returned to the House, further fracturing intraparty tensions.
“We had many heated debates in Washington as we debated our own next steps,” said Talarico. “I’m going to keep those arguments in private. But I know emotions are rightfully running high everywhere, and it’s been a difficult month.”
“You threw us under the bus today! Why?” Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos tweeted alongside a picture of Talarico and other Dems on the floor of the House.
Rep. Celia Israel returned to Austin but said “there is no way” she would go to the Texas House.
“Every day that we can not be on the floor doing business according to Gov. Abbott’s agenda is a good day,” Israel said.
The Post notes that Texas already has some of the strictest polling measures in the country.
Some two dozen Democrats have already sued Gov. Greg Abbott, claiming that efforts to force them back to the statehouse for a special session violated their rights.
Rep. Chris Turner, who chairs the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told the Morning News they’ve done nothing wrong and that because they are protecting their voters, they need to be left alone.
It’s “fully within our rights as legislators to break quorum to protect our constituents,” he said.