Texas GOP Speaker Issues Warrant for Fleeing Dem’s Arrest

Ryan Johnson via Wikipedia Commons

The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dade Phelan just signed a civil arrest warrant for one of the more than 50 Democrats who fled the state to deny the legislature the necessary quorum needed to vote on an election overhaul bill. Phelan signed the warrant for state Rep. Philip Cortez from San Antonio after he left Washington, D.C.

The Daily Wire reports:

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.

Article III, Section 10 of the Texas state constitution states, “QUORUM; ADJOURNMENTS FROM DAY TO DAY; COMPELLING ATTENDANCE. Two-thirds of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may provide.”

Cortez returned to Washington D.C. on Sunday; he “returned to Austin from Washington in what he said was an attempt to engage in ‘good faith dialogue’ about House Bill 3, the election legislation,” The Texas Tribune reported, adding, “ Other Democrats criticized Cortez’s move, saying the lawmaker did not first consult with them before returning to Austin.”

“Rep. Cortez returned to the Texas Capitol of his own volition and represented to me and his fellow members that he wanted to work on policy and find solutions to bring his colleagues back to Texas,” Phelan said, as KVUE reported. “As a condition of being granted permission to temporarily leave the House floor, Rep. Cortez promised his House colleagues that he would return. Instead, he fled the state and has irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of this chamber.”

The Texas Democrats fled their home state and taxpayer-funded jobs more than two weeks ago. Since then the group has made headlines for testing positive for COVID-19 and infecting senior aides to Nancy Pelosi and asking for “care packages” from home as if they’re deployed troops and not in Washington by their own free will- and chartered plane.


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