Texas Democrats Can Return Safely Thanks to Judge’s Restraining Order
Democrats who flew to Washington, D.C. to break quorum during Governor Abbott's special session will now have the opportunity to return to Texas with the help of a temporary restraining order.
According to a report from the Texas Tribune, State District Judge Brad Urrutia has issued a temporary restraining order that would allow Texas Democrats to return from Washington without the threat of arrest.
The order restricts Governor 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 temporary restraining order will be in place for 14 days unless Judge Urratia chooses to make an extension.
Governor Abbott has made numerous calls and threats to have Texas Democrats return, but he has yet to be successful.
"Texas Democrats’ decision to break a quorum of the Texas Legislature and abandon the Texas State Capitol inflicts harm on the very Texans who elected them to serve." Abbott stated in a press release. However, Democrats that left to Washington, D.C are fighting to protect the votes of minorities, and believe that their actions prove just how dedicated they truly are.
Unfortunately for Abbott, a system of checks and balances still exists to protect the rights of the American people, and a lawsuit was filed on behalf of 19 House Democrats by attorneys Samuel E. Bassett, Jeremy Monthy, and Megan Rue.
“No matter what the Governor or Speaker have said, it is a fundamental principle in this country that no one has the power to arrest their political opponents. That is why this action had to be filed,” Bassett said in a statement.
While the special session has ended, Governor Abbott has ordered a second special session in an effort to push through other legislation he has deemed necessary. All of the House Democrats can now safely return, but with the second session still ahead, we'll have to wait and see which option they take.