Texas Supreme Court Rules That Democrats in Legislature Can Be Arrested to Compel Attendance

Texas Justice Jimmy Blacklock

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Texas Constitution authorizes the state’s House of Representatives to arrest members who flee in order to break the quorum required to vote.

The opinion states that “just as” Texas’ Constitution enables “‘quorum-breaking’ by a minority faction of the legislature, it likewise authorizes ‘quorum-forcing’ by the remaining members,” including by “arrest.”

“The legal question before this Court concerns only whether the Texas Constitution gives the House of Representatives the authority to physically compel the attendance of absent members. We conclude that it does, and we therefore direct the district court to withdraw the TRO,” wrote Justice Jimmy Blacklock on behalf of the state’s Supreme Court.

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Arrest Warrants Issued for Texas Dems That Fled State to Block Election Integrity Bill

The 52 Texas House Democrats who fled the state last month to block election integrity legislation were declaring victory just a few days ago when an activist judge in Austin signed an order to block enforcement of the arrest warrants put out for them.

Judge Brad Urrutia signed the order Sunday night, thwarting Governor Greg Abbott plan to have the renegade lawmakers arrested as soon as they returned to Austin.

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Texas House Authorizes Arrests of AWOL Democrats After State Supreme Court Intervenes

The Texas House of Representatives voted 89-12 on Tuesday evening to authorize state law enforcement to corral and potentially arrest AWOL Democratic members who fled Austin to stop passage of election integrity legislation.

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.”

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Texas Supreme Court Orders Release of Shelley Luther After She Was Jailed for Trying to Reopen Her Salon

The Texas Supreme Court has ordered the release of Shelly Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was sent to jail for violating the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order.

State District Judge Eric Moyé on Tuesday sentenced the owner of the Salon A La Mode to seven days behind bars for “disobeying a judge’s temporary restraining order prohibiting her from operating her salon,” according to CBS-DFW.

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