Many seats sat empty in Texas legislature after Democrats fled to Washington. This morning Republicans formally asked sergeant at arms to round them up with arrest warrants if necessary. But DC is far outside of state’s jurisdiction. Photo courtesy of Scott Gordon on Twitter

Texas GOP threatens to arrest Democrats

The Texas GOP threatened to arrest state Democrats after they fled to Washington, D.C. in opposition of restrictive voting legislation.

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On Tuesday, the Texas House voted to issue arrest warrants to compel Texas Democrats to return to the state after they walked out of the state House and traveled to Washington, D.C.

The Democrats left Texas on charter planes on Monday in opposition to a restrictive voting legislation, The Wall Street Journal reports, after a 30-day special session to pass the measure began and they vow to stay there until it ends on August 7.

The Democrats cannot be arrested in Washington, but upon returning to Texas could be fined or lose committee assignments and other privileges, The New York Times reports.

The Democrats are calling for federal voting legislation, according to reports. The bill would outlaw 24 hour poling locations as well as drop boxes for mail in ballots and other measures, news outlets report. It is unlikely the Democrats will be arrested in Washington, but they may face other consequences upon returning to Texas.

The Democrats who fled cannot be legally forced to return from out of state… Once they are back in the state, lawmakers can pass resolutions to fine the Democrats for every day they were gone, and they could also take away privileges, such as parking spaces.

In front of the U.S. Capitol on a sweltering 90-degree day Tuesday, the Texas Democrats called on Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, bills aimed at expanding voting protections that have stalled in a divided Congress.

The latest bills in Texas include new identification requirements for people voting by mail and prohibit local election officials from sending a vote-by-mail application to someone who hasn’t requested one.

Daily Planet

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