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Texas Runaway Democrats Begin Leaving Washington D.C.

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Some of the runaway Texas Democrats are leaving Washington , D.C., but where they are headed is a mystery.

After Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stopped Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Charles Schumer from passing the For the People Act voting act some Democrats have given up and are done with staying in D.C., The Dallas Morning News reported.

“I think everyone right now is just going on to the next step,” Texas State Rep. Ina Minjarez said. “We’ve been here for a little over a month, the Senate has taken a recess, so we feel that we’ve done what we can here in D.C. I can’t disclose where all of us will be going, but I think right now, there’s no intention to make quorum [in Austin].”

The group, including Reps. Minjarez, Mando Martinez of Weslaco, Gina Hinojosa of Austin, Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio and others, was seen wheeling their luggage out of the hotel they’ve been staying at since July 12, when they arrived in Washington.

On Monday, Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Dallas said over 20 members remained in Washington. It’s unclear how many of those members are still in Washington, and how many checked out Friday.

Back in Austin, there were again not enough members present for a quorum to allow the House to conduct business. The chamber was set to reconvene at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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GOP Rep. Shelby Slawson of Stephenville gave the prayer on the House floor Friday, expressing her frustration for yet another day lost by the Democrats’ quorum break.

“I confess to you, Lord, that I’ve spent a lot of the last month wondering, ‘What are we doing?’” the representative said. “You’ve shown us time and time again that from the messes of the world comes your message.”

The House sergeant-at-arms and law enforcement have begun going to the homes of the runaway Democrats to serve arrest warrants.

“I am not at home and I am not going to return there until I feel like I can safely,” Democratic Rep. Vikki Goodwin said after a neighbor informed her that law enforcement was spotted outside of her home.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that House Democrats who refuse to show up for the Legislature can be detained by law enforcement and brought back to the state Capitol.

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“The Supreme Court of Texas swiftly rejected this dangerous attempt by Texas Democrats to undermine our Constitution and avoid doing the job they were elected to do,” said Renae Eze, an Abbott spokeswoman.

“We look forward to the Supreme Court upholding the rule of law and stopping another stall tactic by the Texas Democrats,” Eze added.

The Statesman reported:

Responding to an emergency motion filed hours earlier, the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked an Austin district judge’s order that prohibited the arrest of Democrats participating in the ongoing quorum break.

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Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan, represented by Attorney General Ken Paxton, argued that state District Judge Brad Urrutia’s order improperly stopped them from exercising authority specifically granted by the Texas Constitution.

“Compelling the attendance of its members is a prerogative given to the House by the Texas Constitution,” the petition said.

The appeal asked the all-Republican Supreme Court to overturn the order by Urrutia, a Democrat, before 5 p.m. Tuesday, noting that the second special session is ongoing and the “House Democrats’ return to Texas is imminent.” Abbott and Phelan also said Uruttia’s plan to hold an Aug. 20 hearing on the matter would come too late in a special session that can run no later than Sept. 5.

In response, the state’s highest civil court blocked enforcement of Urrutia’s order while justices weighed the legal issues. The House Democrats were given until 4 p.m. to file a response.

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