Politics

Texas House Speaker Signs Arrest Warrants For Absent Democratic Lawmakers

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Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan reportedly signed civil arrests warrants Tuesday for dozens of House Democrats absent from the state Capitol amid an effort to stymie a controversial voting bill put forward by Republicans.

The 52 Democrats left the Capitol last month to keep conservative lawmakers from having the required quorum to move forward with the legislation.

The warrants “will be delivered to the House Sergeant-at-Arms tomorrow morning for service” a spokesperson for Phelan said Tuesday, according to the Texas Tribune.

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Hours after the state’s Supreme Court ruled the Democrats could be civilly detained, the Texas House voted 80-12 to issue the warrants, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The Supreme Court had overturned a Monday district court decision blocking the warrants.

Texas lawmakers came back Saturday for the second special session ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott but have still been unable to make a quorum, KFOX 14 in El Paso reported.

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State Rep. Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement Tuesday it’s “fully within our rights as legislators to break quorum to protect our constituents. Texas House Democrats are committed to fighting with everything we have against Republicans’ attacks on our freedom to vote,” according to the paper.

Republicans made a similar move in July d… (Read more)

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