Texas Democrats to flee state in effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  31 comments

By:   Jane C. Timm (NBC News)

Texas Democrats to flee state in effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions
With Republican-backed voting bills moving rapidly through a special session of the state Legislature, Texas Democrats are making a break for it — again.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



July 12, 2021, 4:42 PM UTC By Jane C. Timm

With Republican-backed voting bills moving rapidly through a special session of the state Legislature, Texas Democrats are planning to make a break for it — again.

At least 58 Democratic members of the state House of Representatives are expected to bolt from Austin on Monday in an effort to block the measures from advancing, a source familiar with the plans told NBC News. The unusual move, akin to what Democrats did in 2003, would paralyze the chamber, stopping business until the lawmakers return to town or the session ends.

The majority of the members plan to fly to Washington, D.C., on two private jets chartered for the occasion and use the time there to rally support for federal voting legislation, the source said. Others will make their own way.

The lawmakers risk arrest in taking flight. Under the Texas Constitution, the Legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers be present to conduct state business in either chamber. Absent lawmakers can be legally compelled to return to the Capitol, and the source said Democrats expect state Republicans to ask the Department of Public Safety to track them down.

The Texas State Capitol in Austin.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

"It's really exciting to see Democrats taking a bold move with this potential walkout," Carisa Lopez, political director for civil liberties group Texas Freedom Network, said.

House Democrats already staged one successful walkout to defeat election legislation prioritized by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Members quietly left the House floor in the final minutes of the regular legislative session that ended in May, breaking quorum and forcing Republicans to adjourn without passing the key agenda item. But that victory was always likely to be short-lived, as Republicans control both legislative chambers. Abbott kept his vow to call a special session, which began July 8.

Republicans didn't waste time. Lawmakers advanced a pair of voting measures — House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1 — Sunday after marathon committee hearings in both chambers, with the House hearing lasting nearly 24 hours. Both panels featured members of the public waiting hours to give testimony in the middle of the night. Floor votes were expected to take place as soon as this week.

Both bills would add new identification requirements for mail voting, ban some early voting options and create new criminal penalties for breaking election code while empowering partisan poll watchers.

To block the currently pending legislation, the Democratic lawmakers would have to remain away through the end of the special session, which can last as many as 30 days under the state's constitution.

Though lawmakers did it briefly in May, breaking quorum is still a rare step. In May 2003, more than 50 state House Democrats left the state to try to block a redistricting proposal supported by the Republican majority. After the plan ultimately passed the state House, The Chicago Tribune reported at the time, Democratic state senators then fled to New Mexico, before eventually a defector reinstated quorum.

The redistricting plan eventually passed the Senate in October. The redistricting bill at the time was known as House Bill 3 — the same legislative moniker as one of current session's voting bills.

jane-timm-byline.jpg Jane C. Timm

Jane C. Timm is a senior reporter for NBC News.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Bravo jrSmiley_28_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 weeks ago

Yeah, running away seems like such a grown-up option.

LOL.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1    3 weeks ago
Yeah, running away seems like such a grown-up option.

It's worked for the republicans before, so why not.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.1    3 weeks ago
It's worked for the republicans before, so why not.

I hope you have some time to read the article and understand what the topic is.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.2    3 weeks ago
I hope you have some time to read the article and understand what the topic is.

Oooops, did I hit a sore spot while pointing out that republicans did exactly what you are complaining that democrats might do, but they did it years ago?

Oregon Senate Republicans leave the state to avoid climate bill vote

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.3    3 weeks ago
Oooops, did I hit a sore spot while pointing out that republicans did exactly what you are complaining that democrats might do, but they did it years ago?

Do you have even clue one what specific state the article is talking about?

Pro tip:

It is in the TITLE, so you don't even have to trouble yourself with reading the article!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.5  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.4    3 weeks ago
Do you have even clue one what specific state the article is talking about?

Do you have even clue one what specific action you are complaining about?

Or are you trying to say that it is okay to flee Oregon, but not Texas?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.5    3 weeks ago
Do you have even clue one what specific action you are complaining about?

Yes.

Or are you trying to say that it is okay to flee Oregon, but not Texas?

Not trying to say anything, I am flat out doing it. It isn't my problem if you want to invent statements I haven't made. But your whataboutism is duly noted.

Do you think Oregon and Texas are the same state?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.7  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.6    3 weeks ago
Not trying to say anything, I am flat out doing it.

So this maneuver is okay with you as long as it is republicans doing the fleeing.  Thanks for finally admitting it, we're done now.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.7    3 weeks ago

Except I didn't admit anything, that is jyst your imagination playing tricks on you.

Wouldn't it be more honest to try to debate something I have claimed rather than arguing what was invented?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2  Sean Treacy    3 weeks ago

Why do Democrats hate democracy?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1  Texan1211  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    3 weeks ago
Why do Democrats hate democracy?

Because living in a democracy means they don't always get their way?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    3 weeks ago

Why do Democrats hate democracy?

Why do republicans hate people being able to easily vote?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

If they stay in the state the Republicans will try and have them arrested. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @3    3 weeks ago

I certainly hope the Texas Rangers do their job and arrest any and all derelict lawmakers attempting to flee the state.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    3 weeks ago
I certainly hope the Texas Rangers do their job and arrest any and all derelict lawmakers attempting to flee the state.

So you feel that travelling between states should be illegal?  You're starting to sound like a certain NK dictator.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.1    3 weeks ago
So you feel that travelling between states should be illegal? 

What an asinine question.

Never said that, so once again, a progressive liberal is attempting to debate words put in others' mouths for the sole purpose of arguing.

For once, just read what is posted and stop with the child-like "interpretations".

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.1    3 weeks ago
You're starting to sound like a certain NK dictator.

I am sure you listen with glee whenever he spouts off, and can probably quote him verbatim.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.2    3 weeks ago
Never said that, so once again, a progressive liberal is attempting to debate words put in others' mouths for the sole purpose of arguing.

You said, specifically..."I certainly hope the Texas Rangers do their job and arrest any and all derelict lawmakers attempting to flee the state."

Your specific words.

In order for them to be ARRESTED, 1 of 2 things must occur.  You can pick which you meant, when you made that statement.

Did you mean that traveling between states should be illegal, thus allowing them to be ARRESTED?

or

Did you mean that Texas Rangers should be allowed to ARREST anyone, even if they never committed a crime?

Those are the only 2 options that would allow them to be ARRESTED.  Unless you are just advocating for kidnapping.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.4    3 weeks ago
ou said, specifically..."I certainly hope the Texas Rangers do their job and arrest any and all derelict lawmakers attempting to flee the state."

Your specific words.

In order for them to be arrested, 1 of 2 things must occur.  You can pick which you meant, when you made that statement.

Did you mean that traveling between states should be illegal, thus allowing them to be ARRESTED?

or

Did you mean that Texas Rangers should be allowed to ARREST anyone, even if they never committed a crime?

Those are the only 2 options that would allow them to be ARRESTED.  Unless you are just advocating for kidnapping.

I know what the fuck I wrote, your false interpretation are unnecessary.

The Democratic lawmakers are derelict in their sworn duties, and thus subject to arrest if they attempt to flee.

People who aren't lawmakers travel in and out of Texas every minute, don't be so fucking ridiculous as to think they don't.

Do YOU get that the Rangers are allowed to arrest fleeing lawmakers because it is a crime?

All they have to do is the job they were elected to do.

No one elected them to flee the state.

Pussy way out because they didn't do as well as expected last election.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.5    3 weeks ago
I know what the fuck I wrote, your false interpretation are unnecessary.

Interesting that you would call my directly quoting you a "false interpretation"....LOL!

The Democratic lawmakers are derelict in their sworn duties, and thus subject to arrest if they attempt to flee.

So you DO feel it should be illegal to cross state lines.  But you just denied it a couple comments ago.  Can't make up your mind?

Keeping in mind that the Constitution specifically grants all citizens the right to cross state lines.  Amendment 14, Section 1.

People who aren't lawmakers travel in and out of Texas every minute, don't be so fucking ridiculous as to think they don't.

We aren't talking about them, are we?  You are wanting to strip Constitutional rights of lawmakers (who are also American citizens).

Do YOU get that the Rangers are allowed to arrest fleeing lawmakers because it is a crime?

What crime is that?  Be specific.  Not doing a job is NOT a crime except in North Korea.

All they have to do is the job they were elected to do.

Or else you'll have them arrested for not doing what YOU want them to.  You seem to really like North Korean values.

No one elected them to flee the state.

So now you are saying that they cannot exercise their Constitutional right to cross state lines, without YOUR permission?  Are you sure you're not Kim Jung-Un?  You are advocating for a lot of his powers.

Pussy way out because they didn't do as well as expected last election.

Which they learned from the Oregon republicans.  I guess that means that republicans are bigger pussies.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.6    3 weeks ago
Interesting that you would call my directly quoting you a "false interpretation"...

Not my circus, not my monkey.

So you DO feel it should be illegal to cross state lines.  But you just denied it a couple comments ago.  Can't make up your mind?

I see context is a totally foreign concept to you.

It IS illegal for lawmakers to cross state lines when the legislature is in session in order to scuttle legislation.

It IS legal for anyone else to cross state lines at any time.

What part of this is confusing you?

Or else you'll have them arrested for not doing whatYOUwant them to.  You seem to really like North Korean values.

No, once again (sigh, this is a broken record) you misinterpret my plain words. I want them arrested for violations of law. Plain, simple and easily understandable just as long as no one tries to interpret it wrongly again.

I trust your expertise on what North Korean values are, as I don't know them of give a flying fuck about them, especially since they, too, ARE NOT THE FUCKING TOPIC.

So now you are saying that they cannot exercise their Constitutional right to cross state lines, without YOUR permission? 

Why don't you quote me saying exactly that instead of making it up?

Are you sure you're not Kim Jung-Un?  You are advocating for a lot of his powers.

I am positive, but it does seem as though you might be very, very confused as to who you are talking to. Do you really think a foreign leader would be interested in talking to you about this shit?

You seem to be the North Korean expert, so what does your years of research into North Korea tell you?

Which they learned from the Oregon republicans.  I guess that means that republicans are bigger pussies.

I have no use or interest in any more of your guesses.

Let's deal with facts.

I believe the Oregon GOP should have stayed and done their fucking job they were elected to do--just like I believe the Texas Democrats should do.

What I don't get is how someone could confuse the two or believe that one wrong justifies another.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.8  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.7    3 weeks ago
Not my circus, not my monkey.

But your quote.

I see context is a totally foreign concept to you.

I see owning up to what you said is a totally foreign concept to you.

It IS illegal for lawmakers to cross state lines when the legislature is in session in order to scuttle legislation.

Let's see the law then, or is this just more bullshit?

What part of this is confusing you?

The part where you claim facts, but your facts are pure bull.  Put up or shut up, as the saying goes.

No, once again (sigh, this is a broken record) you misinterpret my plain words. I want them arrested for violations of law. Plain, simple and easily understandable just as long as no one tries to interpret it wrongly again.

What law?  Amazing that time after time, you refuse to quote the law you keep claiming.

Why don't you quote me saying exactly that instead of making it up?

I have, time after time after time after time.  And anyone can scroll up and see that I have.

You seem to be the North Korean expert, so what does your years of research into North Korea tell you?

That you and he have much the same values.  Thanks for asking.

I have no use or interest in any more of your guesses.

What guesses?  I have provided exact quotes and links to the story.

Let's deal with facts.

You???  jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

I believe the Oregon GOP should have stayed and done their fucking job they were elected to do

Of course you do.

tenor.gif?itemid=14110641

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.8    3 weeks ago
But your quote.

No kidding.

I see owning up to what you said is a totally foreign concept to you.

What you see is up to you. Not of any interest to me.

What law?  Amazing that time after time, you refuse to quote the law you keep claiming.

Texas Democrat Lawmakers to Flee State, Risking Arrest, to Stop Republicans From Passing New Voting Laws – Real News Aggregator

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.10  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.9    3 weeks ago

Why don't you just give up Texan all that dodging must have worn you down.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.11  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.10    3 weeks ago

Dodging?oh, you mean constantly having to correct you as you invent things you want me to say instead of what I actually have said?

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
4  Tacos!    3 weeks ago

This is a childish tactic. That should be obvious to all. But it also strikes me as a kind of dereliction of duty or violation of oath - however you want to best characterize it. They were elected to do their work in the legislature. Basically, like anyone, they promise to show up for work. Flat out refusing to attend sessions of the legislature strikes me as grounds for removal from office.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Tacos! @4    3 weeks ago

They were elected to represent their constituents in the law making process. I think they are probably doing that. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago

They were elected by progressive liberals to run away when they don't get their way?

Interesting concept, and one future Democratic hopefuls should remember and run on.

I can see it now: "Vote for me, because I can flee the state whenever I don't like something faster than anybody!"

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
4.1.2  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago
They were elected to represent their constituents in the law making process. I think they are probably doing that. 

They were elected to not go to work? To obstruct the legal process?

How long do you think elected officials should be allowed to subvert a constitutional process by not going to work? 1 day? 1000 days?

Other than the fact that this is non-violent, how is this better than the conservative attempt to overturn an election on January 6? Or should we only respect elections when Democrats win them?

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
5  Snuffy    3 weeks ago

Another way to look at it is this is the minority party using what they have as their filibuster. State rules are a bit different than the federal rules, so if/when they come back into the state they can be arrested and taken to the legislative house. 

Seems to me if  you support what the Democrats are doing in this instance in Texas then you need to be firmly in favor of keeping the filibuster in the US Senate. 

 
 
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