Arrest warrants have finally been issued for 52 Texas Democrats who have blocked voting legislation by refusing to turn to the Texas Capitol by Republican leaders in the Texas House.
Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan threatened Democrats who left Texas a month ago with arrest warrants. The spokesman for Phelan, Enrique Marquez confirmed reports first put out by The Dallas Morning News that civil arrest warrants had been issues for the 52 House Democrats.
How soon or when law enforcement will arrest them is still unclear.
“I am hoping they will come because the warrants have been issued and they don’t want to be arrested,” State Rep. Jim Murphy said. “It is incredible to me that you have to arrest people to do the job they campaigned for, for which they took an oath of office to uphold the Texas constitution.”
We’ll have all of the arrests as they happen of these criminals at The DC Patriot!
As of Tuesday, Republicans needed just five more lawmakers present in the House to move forward with a raft of tweaks and changes to the state’s election code would make it harder — and even, sometimes, legally riskier — to cast a ballot in Texas, which already has some of the most restrictive election laws in the nation.
“We had many heated debates in Washington as we debated our own next steps,” said state Rep. James Talarico, one of a handful of Democrats who returned to the Texas Capitol this week. “I’m going to keep those arguments in private. But I know emotions are rightfully running high everywhere, and it’s been a difficult month.”
Texas is among several states where Republicans have rushed to enact new voting restrictions in response to former President Donald Trump‘s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. The current bill is similar to the ones Democrats blocked last monthby going to Washington. It would ban 24-hour polling locations, drive-thru voting and give partisan poll watchers more access, among other things.
It was unclear Wednesday how many Democrats remained in Washington — as was what they accomplished there. They had hoped to push President Joe Biden and other Democrats there to pass federal legislation that would protect voting rights in Texas and beyond.
Some who stayed behind have publicly fumed at a handful of colleagues who returned to the Legislature. Progressive allies are also pressuring wavering Democrats to hold the line and stay away from the Capitol, even if they come back to Texas.
“You threw us under the bus today! Why?” Dallas Democratic state Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos said in a tweet that included a picture of Talarico and other Democrats on the floor of the Texas House.
Thanks to our friends at The Associated Press for contributing to this article.