Texas Supreme Court gives Abbott green light to arrest Democrats

by | Aug 10, 2021 | Politics, Texas Legislature

The Republican-controlled Texas Supreme Court tossed out a lower court ruling on Tuesday that prevented Democrats from being arrested by Gov. Greg Abbott. 

More than a dozen Texas House Democrats filed the lawsuit over the weekend as the second special session began. The governor previously threatened to arrest and lock members in the state capital upon their return to Austin. 

On Sunday, Travis County District Court Judge Brad Urrutia sided with Democrats and issued a temporary restraining order preventing the governor from arresting Democrats who broke quorum and fled to Washington D.C. 

Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas House Speaker Dade Dade Phelan filed an emergency motion asking the Texas Supreme Court to intervene. They did so, offering no detailed opinion as to why it was blocking the lower court’s ruling. 

With some Texas Democrats returning from Washington D.C., the Texas Legislature is drawing closer to achieving a quorum, but it is still several members short. 

The ruling by the Texas Supreme Court comes a day after the state’s highest judiciary also sided with Abbott on defunding the legislature. 

Legislative Democrats have until 4 P.M. Tuesday to respond.

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

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