More than 50 Texas House Democrats have been served civil arrest warrants to force the lawmakers to return to the State Capitol — as Republicans look to finally pass the election reform the Democrats fled from voting on 31 days ago.
The sergeants-at-arms delivered the warrants to members’ offices requesting their staff return to work, KOMO News reports, but around 20 of the state lawmakers remain in Washington, D.C.
More than 50 of the state legislators and roughly a dozen staffers flew to Washington on July 12 in an attempt to run out the clock on the bill, boycotting the chamber’s special session and preventing Republicans from being able to reach a quorum.
The warrant would not lead to fines or criminal charges, instead being brought to the House chamber in the state Capitol.
“They’re going to be taken into custody, and they will be taken to the House floor and the doors will be locked on both those who are voluntarily there and those who are being taken into custody,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat on Wednesday.
“Everyone will end up being treated the same, unfortunately, they’ll all be locked in because they have to be, otherwise they’d go back and leave the capital and take away the ability of others to vote.”
Paxton added if they continue to not show up for work “there could be a determination that they vacated their office” and a special election could be held.
While Republicans are attempting to do everything in their power to push Democrats to return, the group of Democrats appears to not be backing down.
“I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” state Rep. Erin Zwiene (D) told NBC. “Nothing about these warrants are a surprise, and they don’t necessarily affect my plans.”
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