Yesterday, we brought you the story of the Texas Criminal Court District Judge that blocked the ability of Texas law enforcement agencies from issuing warrants or arresting the Democrat house members who fled the state to keep a vote from happening on election integrity bills.
Less than 48 hours after he signed the order, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court, asking them to stay the district judge’s order.
In their request, they pointed to their belief that the “trial court’s error constitute[s] a clear abuse of discretion.”
The higher court’s decision is a huge win for the Republicans in the House seeking to debate, vote and pass legislation to tighten election integrity around the state.
“In this case, there can be little doubt that the Plaintiff’s arrest and subsequent transport back to the Capitol falls comfortably within the Legislature’s broad power to compel the attendance of its members,” the petition says.
“Plaintiffs are 19 state legislators who sought and obtained public office and swore an oath to uphold the Texas Constitution, the very same Constitution that authorizes each House to compel the attendance of its members,” it continued. “If plaintiffs no longer wish to fulfill their public duties, they are free to resign and return to Texas.”
The 9-member court sided with the Governor and Speaker and provided a stay of the lower court’s decision, effectively authorizing the absent Democrats to be arrested and transported to the house to conduct the state business they were elected to do.
It remains to be seen if the delinquent Representatives will voluntarily return to the House or if they will force law enforcement to act on the warrants that have been issued.