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Dem Judge Signs Order Blocking Arrest of Texas Democrat Lawmakers

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Another day, another activist judge makes a radical move.

A Democrat judge in Travis County, Texas, has issued a mind-blowing order protecting the Texas Democrats who fled the state last month to avoid having to vote on election integrity bills.

State District Judge Brad Urrutia has blocked the arrest of the Texas House Democrats, paving the way for those who remain outside of Texas to return home without the threat of apprehension.

Urrutia granted a temporary restraining order filed by the Democrats that will restrict Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan from “detaining, confining, or otherwise restricting” the free movement of House Democrats within the state or issuing any warrants ordering their confinement.

The Texas Tribune reported:

The order expires in 14 days unless extended by Urrutia. The court will hear arguments on a temporary injunction on Aug. 20, and Abbott and Phelan must show why a temporary injunction should not be filed against them.

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In July, more than 50 House Democrats decamped to Washington, D.C., during a 30-day specially called legislative session to block the passage of an elections bill they said would restrict voting access.

The remaining members in the chamber, mostly Republicans, voted to authorize a “call of the House” under which all entrances into the chamber can be locked and lawmakers are not permitted to leave without permission from the speaker.

The report added:

They also asked the chamber’s sergeant-at-arms and other law enforcement officers to bring the missing lawmakers back “under warrant of arrest if necessary.”

Abbott had called for the arrest of the Democratic lawmakers as soon as they returned to the state, and Phelan signed a civil warrant for Rep. Philip Cortez after he returned to Austin from Washington in July only to leave the state capitol again a few days later.

The drama never ends with these Texas Democrats.

Late last month, Texas Democrat state Rep. Philip Cortez returned to Austin and apparently didn’t think Republicans would do anything about it.

After Cortez skipped town and went back to D.C., Republican Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Dade Phelan has signed a civil warrant for Cortez’s arrest.

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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.

Cortez returned to Washington, D.C. after claiming that he wanted to take part “in what he said was an attempt to engage in ‘good faith dialogue’ about House Bill 3, the election legislation,” The Texas Tribune reported.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is also taking a hardline approach with Democrats who have fled the state.

When he appeared on Fox News on Monday night, the Texas governor said the Democrats who fled the state will be arrested when they return.

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Last week, the Texas House voted 76-4 to have the Sergeant-at-Arms send for the Democrats who fled.

“Isn’t that the most un-Texan thing you’ve ever heard? Texans running from a fight? They’re quitters,” he said on Fox News.

“It’s like during a football game or baseball game, taking their equipment when they’re way behind and just leaving the field. That is not the way that Texas, Texans do things,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Texas Democrats have been doing television appearances and posting pictures of themselves on Twitter as if they are heroes.

Three Texas Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19 after flying to the Capitol and taking maskless photos on the airplane, The Austin American Statesman reported.

“This is quite possibly the biggest disaster of a trip not seen since the S.S. Minnow. Perhaps all of these Texas Democrats ignoring the mask mandate on the plane to DC led to this. Look forward to seeing the coverage…,” Joe Concha said.

“Karma has a way of biting you in the ass. They went to Washington to catch COVID-19 now they should be denied transportation until they test negative twice,” Samuel Williams said.

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“Three Texas state democrats that fled their legislative responsibilities on a private plane (unmasked) to the safety of The People’s Republic of DC, into the arms of their beloved leader @SpeakerPelosi, have tested positive for #Covid,” Jonathan T. Gilliam said.

“Put their pathetic asses in quarantine. Democrats once again showing that rules don’t apply to them and paying for it this time,” Matthew Betley said.

It’s all a show for attention that will backfire on them.

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