Court rules Texas Dems who don’t show up for special session may face arrest

Local News

FILE – This June 1, 2021, file photo shows the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. Democrats in the Texas Legislature are planning to leave the state in another revolt against a GOP overhaul of election laws. A person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that Democrats are set to once again break quorum at the Texas Legislature in a dramatic showdown over voting rights in America. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Democratic members of the Texas Legislature may face arrest, voiding a temporary restraining order that prohibited their arrest.

On Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling made on Monday that blocked the arrest of Democratic members who fled the state Capitol.

On Monday, three El Paso delegates were among those who returned to Austin.

According to the new ruling, Dems who don’t show up for Gov. Greg Abbott’s second special legislative session may be detained by law enforcement, then returned to the Capitol.

The decision was made after Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan made an appeal to the court on Monday to overturn the Travis County District judge’s ruling that prevented them from authorizing the arrest of the Democrats, who broke quorum last month.

“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,” said Renae Eze, an Abbott spokeswoman. “We look forward to the Supreme Court upholding the rule of law and stopping another stall tactic by the Texas Democrats.”

Democrats that include State Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer, Gina Hinojosa, and Jasmine Crockett released a statement that reports they plan to continue to work toward temporary injunction in the district courts.

“It is no surprise that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan want to arrest their political opponents. Thankfully, this is still the United States of America. We will defend the freedom to vote, and we look forward to our temporary injunction hearing on August 20.”

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