Texas Democratic Representatives who fled the state in order to block the GOP-backed elections legislation will face the law after Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan signed civil arrests warrants Tuesday, several hours after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that they can be civilly detained Fox News reports.
A spokesperson for Phelan said Tuesday that the 52 warrants will be delivered to the House Sergeant-at-Arms this morning for service after the Texas House voted 80-12 to issue them.
Though the Republicans tried in July to obtain arrest warrants for the Dems that left the state, Phelan only issued one arrest warrant for a Democrat who briefly came back to Texas since the law enforcement’s jurisdiction ends outside of the state. Situation’s different now that many of them are back to the state, but not to their jobs.
The Supreme Court had overturned the district court decision blocking the warrants on Monday after Texas lawmakers were unable to make a quorum for the second special session ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday.
One of the ‘fugitives’, the chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, Chris Turner, said it’s within their rights as legislators to break quorum to protect the constituents and pointed their commitment to fight with everything they have against Republicans’ attacks on their freedom to vote.
Though the warrant allows bringing the lawmakers to the House chamber, they won’t be facing criminal charges or fines.