Arrest warrants have been issued for 52 'fugitive' Democrats who dramatically fled the state in a political stunt to block the passage of a GOP election integrity bill - only to spread Covid-19 throughout Washington DC.
#UPDATE: Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan signed 52 civil arrest warrants for absent Democrats.— Election Wizard (@ElectionWiz) August 11, 2021
The warrants will be delivered to the House Sergeant-at-Arms tomorrow morning. The warrants command the Sergeant take the absent Democrats into custody and deliver them to the House. https://t.co/HKMhnLoCPQ pic.twitter.com/y2r7XnrOzD
On Tuesday night - hours after the Texas Supreme Court temporarily suspended a Democrat Judge's order barring the arrest of the Democrat legislators - the Texas House of Representatives voted 89-12 to authorize state law enforcement to detain and potentially arrest the rogue lawmakers, according to Just The News.
The vote allowed the House sergeant-at-arms to send law enforcement officers to force the attendance of missing Democrats “under warrant of arrest, if necessary.”
House Speaker Dade Phelan subsequently signed arrest warrants Tuesday that were to be served on Wednesday morning.
Phelan spokesman Enrique Marquez said the warrants targeted 52 Democrats who failed to return during the fifth day of the House’s second special session, leaving the chamber eight members short of a quorum. -JTN
"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,"Abbott spokesperson, Renae Eze, told Fox News. "We look forward to the Supreme Court upholding the rule of law and stopping another stall tactic by the Texas Democrats."
The move follows a Saturday ruling by Travis County District Judge Brad Urrutia (D), who barred Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) from "issuing any warrant or other instrument" or "detaining, confining, or otherwise restricting a Texas House Democrat's movement without his or her consent."
And while the Justices must still decide the broader case, their reversal of Urrutia comes less than 24 hours after the handed Abbott another win - allowing him to punish the Democrats who fled Texas. Now, if the lawmakers who have already returned to the Lone Star State fail to head to Austin to form a quorum on their own accord, they could be arrested.
In a video posted to Twitter, 'fugitive' Rep Ron Reynolds said he and his fellow Democrats "would be going to a jail, we would be going to the House chambers where they would basically be forcing a quorum," adding "They would take us against our will to the House floor."
FIGHTING BACK: Rep. @ronereynolds says they are not done fighting arrest warrants. He says they have a full hearing coming up to get the judge's ruling. He's in D.C. & doesn't think the House will get quorum today. Here's what he says would happen if a Rep. gets arrested. @KHOU pic.twitter.com/RqRMzqgOpY— Janelle Bludau (@JanelleKHOU) August 10, 2021
To establish a quorum and move forward, at least 51 Democratic lawmakers must return to Texas - a move which many Democrats continue to reject.
"We will continue to fight against the Republicans Voter Suppression bills," Reynolds told Fox News. "We are planning on staying in D.C. advocating for federal voting rights legislation until the U.S. Senate goes on August recess towards the end of the week."
Reynolds has become a leading figure in Texas’ push to counter GOP voting legislation that Democrats argue unfairly targets Black and Brown voting rights.
The Texas lawmaker, who was arrested last week while protesting the U.S. Senate to pass voting reform, said state lawmakers are relying on federal reform to bar restrictive voting policies.
Texas Republicans argue the laws would merely secure the elective process.
"We are optimistic that Leader Chuck Schumer will bring up HR For the People Act for a vote this week," Reynolds said.
Twenty-five Texas Democrats have remained in Washington, D.C. while at least four lawmakers have returned to Austin, including state Representatives James Talarico, Joe Moody, Mary Gonzalez, and Art Fierro.
As they say, don't mess with Texas.