The Texas Supreme Court this week ruled in favor of allowing nearly 60 state Democrats, who fled the state in order to block an election reform bill, to be arrested at the requests of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan.
Tuesday’s ruling overturned a previous decision by a state district judge that granted House Democrats protection from detainment, confinement, or arrest for two weeks, which led Abbott and Phelan to petition the state’s highest court, according to the National Review.
However, Democrats who are issued warrants for detainment would reportedly not face any actual criminal charges, such as being jailed or fined. State officials would be tasked with bringing the Democrats to the House chambers to form a quorum required to conduct House business. The court granted House Democrats a deadline of Thursday at 4 p.m to respond to the court.
“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,” Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze said. “We look forward to the Supreme Court upholding the rule of law and stopping another stall tactic by the Texas Democrats.”
As of Tuesday evening, Phelan signed arrest warrants for 52 state Democrats after an 80-12 vote in the chamber demanding Democrats to be present in the statehouse, according to the New York Post.
This comes after almost 60 Texas Democrats boarded two private planes last month to head to Washington D.C to prevent the state legislature from passing an election integrity bill and to persuade Joe Biden to implement lax federal election laws.