After a Texas Dem state rep. returned to Austin from D.C., where he and other Democrats had went in order to break a quorum in the state House to stop the Republicans from enacting voting bills, the Republican Speaker of the state House has signed a warrant for his arrest.
Dade Phelan, the Speaker of the House, put out the civil arrest warrant for state Congressman Philip Cortez from San Antonio.
— Brad Johnson (@bradj_TX) July 26, 2021
Article III of Texas’ constitution says that, “ADJOURNMENTS FROM DAY TO DAY; COMPELLING ATTENDANCE. Two-thirds of every House shall have a quorum to conduct business, but a smaller amount may adjourn and compel attendance from absent members, in such a way and under such penalties as every House may provide.”
Cortez returned to D.C. this Sunday; he “went to Austin from D.C. to have ‘good faith dialogue’ concerning House Bill 3, the election law,” The Texas Tribune reported, adding, “Other Democrats pushed against Cortez’s move, saying that he did not first consult with them before going back to Austin.”
“Rep. Cortez went back to the Texas Capitol on his own and told me and the other members that he wished to work on policy and get to answers to bring his friends back to the state,” Phelan said, as KVUE has reported. “On the condition of being given permission to temporarily exit the chamber, State Congressman Cortez promised his colleagues he would come back. Instead, he left the state and has completely broken the trust of the House.”
Meanwhile, after Cortez went back to D.C., Texas House Dem Caucus Chairman Chris Turner applauded him, saying, “In the Texas House Dem Caucus, our unity is what makes us strong. We welcome Rep. Phil Cortez, who is an important member of our Democratic Caucus, back to D.C. with open arms. All 57 Dems breaking quorum are still as solid in our commitment as much as the day we left. We are unrelenting and united in our efforts to guard the freedom to vote.”
The Texas Dems want to stay away from Texas until after August 6, when the special session ends.
Author: Blake Ambrose