August 10, 2021
The Texas Supreme Court has halted a state district judge’s temporary restraining order barring the arrest of Democratic lawmakers who have refused to return to the state legislature, putting some Democrats who returned to the state at risk of arrest.
The court’s order comes at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan who petitioned the Texas Supreme Court on Monday to overturn a ruling by a Travis County state district judge that blocked them from ordering the arrest of Democratic lawmakers.
The Democrats had left the state to block the passage of a Republican elections secure bill they claimed would restrict voting rights in the state. They successfully blocked its passage during a 30-day specially called session that ended on Friday, but Abbott immediately called for a second special session which began on Saturday.
Though some House Democrats have returned, many have stayed away from the capitol and have blocked the chamber from reaching a quorum to conduct its business.
In issuing the stay today, the Texas Supreme Court called for the Democrats to respond by 4 p.m. Thursday.