Texas Supreme Court Rules Democrats Absent From State Capitol Can Be Arrested

The Texas Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the state’s House Democrats can be arrested if they refuse to attend the state Capitol to conduct legislative business. The opinion (pdf) orders district courts to rescind their temporary restraining orders handed to state Democrats who have broken quorum since last month. In July, 52 state House Democrats absented themselves from legislative business in order to block Republican-led election reforms. House members can be compelled by leaders to attend the chamber to conduct legislative business under the state Constitution, and those who refuse to attend can be arrested, the ruling stipulates. “The question now before this Court is not whether it is a good idea for the Texas House of Representatives to arrest absent members to compel a quorum. Nor is the question whether the proposed voting legislation giving rise to this dispute is desirable. Those are political questions far outside the …Read More

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