A Democrat judge out of Travis County, Texas, sided Sunday with Democrat lawmakers, pejoratively called “fleebaggers,” who fled the state in protest of new election integrity laws.
State District Judge Brad Urrutia granted a temporary restraining order “blocking the arrest of House Democrats who have broken quorum by leaving the state, paving the way for those who remain outside of Texas to return home without threat of arrest,” KWTX reported.
More than 50 House Democrats fled the Lone Star State to Washington, DC, in early July to block the passage of an elections bill they said would restrict voting access. Those same lawmakers were photographed smiling and maskless on a plane and were later seen with a case Miller Lite — prompting critics to note that alcohol sales require photo ID — something that, when applied to voting, Democrats routinely describe as suppressive and racist.
ON PLANE TO DC: Texas Democratic lawmakers are leaving state to break quorum to stop Republican voting bill. Veteran Capitol observers say this is unchartered territory. Photo from Democrat on the plane. https://t.co/YOuOMb0A2m pic.twitter.com/abWoARvFIC
— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) July 12, 2021
Unless Urrutia extends the order, it will expired in 14 days. According to the station, the court will hear arguments on a temporary injunction on August 20 where Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) must show why a temporary injunction should not be filed against them.
Abbott previously said the Democrats would be arrested upon their return to Texas and made to participate in their duties as public servants. However, the lawmakers have continued to hold out, even as Abbott orders special session after special session.
“As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done,” Abbott stated at the time. “Everybody who has a job must show up to do that job, just like your viewers on watching right now. State representatives have that same responsibility.”
Phelan even signed a civil arrest warrant in late July for State Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) for his failure to return to the House of Representatives, the Texas Tribune reported.