It was reported just earlier today that Representative Dade Phelan, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives has issue a civil arrest warrant for Representative Phillip Cortez of San Antonio.
In an act of deliberate obscurantism, Rep. Cortez, along with other Texas Democrats, flew to D.C. in order break a quorum in the Texas House that would have otherwise the Texas Republicans pass a bill regarding voter’s rights.
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Upon issuing the civil warrant, Phelan wrote: “To the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, or any officer appointed by him: you are hereby commanded to take The Honorable Philip Cortez, a Member of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, who is now absent from the House, wherever said Member may be found in the State, into your custody and safekeeping and bring said Member before the bar of the House instanter, this writ being issued under a duly-adopted order of the House pursuant to Article III, Section 10, Texas Constitution, made in exercise of its lawful powers to compel the attendance of absent members in the manner provided under the House Rules of Procedure. Herein fail not, but make due return hereof to this House.“.
Eager to allow his political responsibilities to fade off in the rear view mirror and to congratulate himself for it, Cortez tweeted that “Last week I went back to Texas with a goal of improving the restrictive elections bill. After discussions with Republican leadership didn’t yield any substantive results, I have rejoined my Democratic colleagues in Washington D.C. to continue this fight on this front“.
Previously, Phelan had stated of Cortez “As a condition of being granted permission to temporarily leave the House floor, Rep. Cortez promised his House colleagues that he would return. Instead, he fled the state and has irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of this chamber.”
In a final disheartening act of party above principle, Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, sheepishly whimpered that Cortez would be welcome to DC, with “open arms“.