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‘Under Warrant of Arrest if Necessary’: Texas House Votes for Law Enforcement to Retrieve Absent Democrats

‘Under Warrant of Arrest if Necessary’: Texas House Votes for Law Enforcement to Retrieve Absent Democrats

For some reason, the Democrats oppose a bill that makes it easier for people to vote and harder to cheat. Weird.

The Texas State House voted 76-4 to send law enforcement to retrieve the absent Democrats “under warrant of arrest if necessary.”

The Texas State House Democrats fled to Washington, DC, to block a Republican voting bill.

The bill makes it harder to cheat and easier for people to vote.

Mike pointed out this morning the media already latched onto the “voting restrictions” narrative. The Democrats already launched a fundraising campaign off the stunt.

On Tuesday morning, the Texas State House only had 80 of its 150 members. Therefore, the House did not have the two-thirds quorum needed to do its work:

Then Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, chairman of the House Administration Committee, moved to issue what is known as a “call of the House” to try to regain quorum. That motion passed 76-4. Metcalf offered another motion, asking that “the sergeant at arms, or officers appointed by him, send for all absentees … under warrant of arrest if necessary.” That motion also passed 76-4.

Metcalf’s motions were opposed by four Democrats who were present on the House floor Tuesday morning: Reps. Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City, Tracy King of Batesville, Eddie Morales Jr. of Eagle Pass and John Turner of Dallas.

After Metcalf’s motions passed, Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, sought to move to strip absent Democrats of their committee leadership posts if they do not return by noon Wednesday. The motion did not immediately get a vote, and in a subsequent exchange with Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, said committee chairs and vice chairs cannot be removed from their positions under the current chamber rules.

The Democrats are in DC, pleading their case. I wonder if they still have their case of beer. Also, notice how no one has a mask.


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If nothing else, a series of special sessions will keep vulnerable Communists from campaigning for their seats in the Texas legislature in 2022. Not doing your job in a time of rising inflation, economic downturn, and border instability is a very bad look for the Communists. And it steps on the “filibuster = Jim Crow” the national Communists have been pushing for months.

I love how the democrats ran to DC crying, “mommy, the republicans are being mean to me!” as if Pelosi has any control over Texas.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Sanddog. | July 13, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    She’ll send the Capitol police.

    texasron in reply to Sanddog. | July 13, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    To put the Dem’s walkout in the right perspective, Republicans need to place a box of Pampers on the desk of each Dem who left the state. That would be an appropriate greeting for them when they return!

      rebelgirl in reply to texasron. | July 13, 2021 at 4:07 pm

      And a box of kleenex

      Someone has pointed out, the missing Democrats have fled the state to avoid arrest on lawfully-issued warrants.

      This makes them “fugitives from justice” under 18 U.S. Code 922(g).

      Add them to NICS. 58 new “prohibited persons”.

      Gov. Abbot and the TX House leader both have contact forms. Go light them up with the suggestion.

        mark311 in reply to Archer. | July 14, 2021 at 11:08 am

        Nope its under threat of issuing a warrant for arrest. Its highly unlikely that anyone will be arrested.

        Milhouse in reply to Archer. | July 14, 2021 at 11:54 pm

        No, it does not make them fugitives from justice, under that clause or any other. See 18 USC § 921(a)(15).

      jmccandles in reply to texasron. | July 14, 2021 at 9:41 am

      I’d gladly settle for a bunch of crying Communist’s behind bars.

      BilltheB in reply to texasron. | July 14, 2021 at 9:53 am

      And a “binky.”

    Milhouse in reply to Sanddog. | July 13, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Pelosi herself has no control over Texas, but Congress as a whole does, in this case. The official purpose of their DC trip is to urge Congress to pass the Dems’ “gilt-edged invitation to cheat” legislation; if that passes, it would automatically override the bill the Reps are trying to pass in Texas, and they would be able to go home in triumph.

    (The :Dem bill might be subject to constitutional challenge as applied to presidential and state elections, but it would definitely be valid as applied to congressional elections. The constitution explicitly gives Congress the authority to regulate those.)

      daniel_ream in reply to Milhouse. | July 13, 2021 at 4:20 pm

      Not gonna lie, #CurrentYear has made me quite the local expert on really obscure US parliamentary procedure.

        Milhouse in reply to daniel_ream. | July 13, 2021 at 4:40 pm

        Well, you’re from Canada, where the quorum in the House of Commons is only 20 members. This could never happen there. In fact it could never happen in most legislatures, even in the USA, since the quorum is usually a majority of the chamber. Even in Texas, the quorum for committee meetings is a majority of the committee, which is why the committees have been humming along doing their business, unaffected by the Dems’ absence. It’s only the peculiar rule of the TX House, which sets a quorum at two-thirds, that has made this whole story possible.

          henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | July 13, 2021 at 6:11 pm

          “One Ranger, one chamber.”

          In Oregon, quorum in each legislative chamber is two or more members of each major party. Four people — 2 Ds and 2 Rs — could make a quorum in each chamber.

          That’s not to say the minority party hasn’t “walked out” to deny a quorum — they most certainly have! — just that it has to be unanimous, or nearly so. (For reference, our House has 60 members, and the Senate has 30.)

          Republicans did it last year. Democrats demanded the (Democrat) governor issue arrest warrants and bring them back to face the music, even suggesting the Republicans be handcuffed to their desks to make sure they stay. The media, naturally, focused on the necessary spending bills that were being held up and waxed poetic how that would affect local services, but somehow couldn’t find any time to mention the wasteful and freedom-killing bills the Republicans were protesting. No bias there, not at all.

          The two sides eventually struck a deal that those bills would not receive a vote, and the Republicans came back to finish the session. (This year, the Dems changed the rules so that anybody walking out is subject to a $500 per diem fine. Half the Senate Rs still walked out.)

          The thing is, the Democrats have walked out in the past to deny a quorum, too (Oregon hasn’t always been a Socialist Left stronghold).

          Like anything else, there’s a clear double-standard: it’s “obstructionism” and “should be illegal” and a punishable offense when Rs do it, but a legitimate move to “prevent bad legislation” when Ds do it.

          mrzee in reply to Milhouse. | July 14, 2021 at 2:18 pm

          In Canada even a quorum of 20 is not always necessary. There were only 12 Members of Parliament (out of 280) present when they changed the name of our national independence day holiday in 1982.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 14, 2021 at 9:09 pm

          Well, as far as I know in no legislature is a quorum ever necessary unless somebody calls for one. That’s why 4 Texas Dems remained in Austin — because one of them has to be in the chamber at all times, or the Reps will simply call a vote without a quorum.

      Ratbert in reply to Milhouse. | July 13, 2021 at 6:16 pm

      More stupidity from Millstone

        Milhouse in reply to Ratbert. | July 13, 2021 at 6:17 pm

        Another useless waste of oxygen heard from. Drop dead.

        WindyHill in reply to Ratbert. | July 14, 2021 at 10:04 am

        Hit the “like” by mistake. Ugh.

        What do you believe is “stupid” in the previous comment?

        I disagree with Milhouse at least as often as I agree with him, but I believe him a quite intelligent, well-informed, and capable debater, and I can engage without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

        What part of the comment did you believe is “stupidity”? Do you have any specific observations or thoughts to add to refute it, or at least get some clarification on something said you find objectionable?

        Or are you just another Twitter-level commentator, leaving one-line substance-less responses because 140 characters is your intellectual limit?

Lord, this is fun to watch.

Capsaicin_Addict | July 13, 2021 at 1:46 pm

This is gonna be good. If Sleepy Joe and his handlers interfere (I expect they will), things are going to get tense.

They’re telling us just how critical vote fraud is to them.

Message received.

The Friendly Grizzly | July 13, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Are anyvof them carrying concealed Lego sets?

The democrats know they’re playing a weak hand. Most of them know that this stunt is only postponing the inevitable. So why would they do this?

Obviously, because they think this gives them a better platform for fundraising.

“We were forced to flee for our lives because of Republican bullying. We only came back after our dear friends in the U.S. congress promised protection. Please give now to help us defeat the totalitarians running the Texas legislature.”

etc. etc. I’m sure some variation of that message is already in thousands of in boxes across the country.

If we allow the Republicans to do this, it will illegal to bring boxes of ballots to be counted after the polls close! That is just plain evil!

or something like that.

Go go Texas!

1Texas warrants are obviously ineffective so long as they stay in DC. What Abbot and/or the TX legislature needs to do is have agents at each TX airport keep an eye on all incoming flights, including charters, to report the moment any of these fugitives return.

Texas Constitution
Article 3.
Sec. 13. VACANCY IN LEGISLATURE. (a) When vacancies occur in either House, the Governor, or the person exercising the power of the Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies; and should the Governor fail to issue a writ of election to fill any such vacancy within twenty days after it occurs, the returning officer of the district in which such vacancy may have happened, shall be authorized to order an election for that purpose.

    Milhouse in reply to MattMusson. | July 13, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    No vacancy has occurred. A member not showing up to the legislature doesn’t create a vacancy for his seat. And without a quorum the house can’t expel a member. Even with a quorum, it takes a 2/3 vote to expel a member, so these Dems are in no danger.

      MattMusson in reply to Milhouse. | July 14, 2021 at 7:51 am

      Actually, there is no definition of vacancy in the document. It appears that the Governor is the one who determines whether a vacancy exists.

        MattMusson in reply to MattMusson. | July 14, 2021 at 8:48 am

        “If any Senator or Representative remove his residence from the district or county for which he was elected, his office shall thereby become vacant, and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in section 13 of this article.”

        So, the Governor could declare the errant legislators vacant and it would be there choice to come back and fight the charge. Or, face a special election.

          This has been my argument: keep the special sessions going until the members’ absence from Texas and absence from their home districts makes them ineligible for their seat, then declare it vacant and a special election.

          Milhouse in reply to MattMusson. | July 14, 2021 at 11:15 pm

          They have not removed their residence. You can be away from home for years, and it remains your legal residence so long as you still regard it as your home and you intend to return there.

nordic_prince | July 13, 2021 at 5:07 pm

Do any of these Ds have Lego sets of the Alamo?

Or perhaps the Bastille – tomorrow is 7/14, after all. I bet they’re plotting something.

Yes, it is obvious that Texas warrants have no authority outside TX. Anyone to whom it is not obvious is a moron.

    Capsaicin_Addict in reply to Milhouse. | July 14, 2021 at 8:20 am

    What if they file for extradition?

    I really do not think the feds want to play this game. It’d be a shame if Texas turned around and started refusing to honor warrants from blue states — or federal warrants.

      I’m not sure “extradition” as it’s normally understood is applicable here.

      Also, it wouldn’t be the feds arresting them, it would be the Capitol police – who are owned and run by the Dem House.

        Capsaicin_Addict in reply to GWB. | July 14, 2021 at 12:16 pm

        Toh-may-toe, toe-mah-toe.

        Regardless, the ramifications of the Capitol Schultzstaffel refusing to honor a legitimate warrant would be entertaining.

        Milhouse in reply to GWB. | July 15, 2021 at 12:03 am

        I don’t think it would be the Capitol police, unless they happened to be in the Capitol at the time. Otherwise it would be the DC police.

        But it won’t be anybody, because they have not been indicted for any crime, so there can’t be an extradition. An arrest warrant has no validity outside the state that issued it.

      There is no extradition, because they are not charged with a crime. They have merely violated the Texas House rules, and that is not a crime, so they’re not subject to extradition.

      By the way, Texas is never called on to “honor” federal warrants. If the feds want someone they just arrest him themselves, and take him wherever they like. They don’t need a state’s permission.

Remember how they mocked Ted Cruz for leaving Texas during a snow storm? He’s a US Senator without any power over the state apparatus. Now they leave instead of doing their actual jobs.

    Milhouse in reply to geronl. | July 15, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Plus, (1) his job is in DC, not in Texas; (2) He was only out of state for one day. He didn’t go on vacation; he had a personal errand to run (escorting his daughter to her vacation), and as soon as he’d done it he came home. If any of these Dems had told the Speaker, “Look, I’m just going to drop my kid off at camp in Maine, and I’ll be right back”, nobody would have objected to that.

Quorum rules are merely “rules” – they are voted into effect by each Legislature at the start of each session.

Many States have had the same problem with D’s fleeing the State to deny quorum.

The fix seems obvious: Change the Quorum rules to something like: “For any regularly scheduled session, a simple majority shall constitute a quorum.” And then leave the higher bar for the quorum for emergency sessions that are not on the regular schedule.

The purpose of quorum rules is to prevent the majority from convening a special session with no notice and without the minority present and passing legislation in their absence. Publish a schedule of regular sessions and for those sessions set the bar for a quorum as a simple majority.

The minority can’t complain that they were caught by surprise if they knew at the start of the year that there would be a session at that time.

Then, no more “fleebaggers” abusing the quorum rules to shut down the legislature. As if this were a valid form of filibuster when, in fact, its actually illegal in most (every?) State.

    GWB in reply to Aarradin. | July 14, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Ummm, no. The quorum rules are set in TX by their constitution. Article 3, Section 10.

      Milhouse in reply to GWB. | July 15, 2021 at 12:13 am

      Not just in Texas. The US constitution sets the quorum for both houses of congress, and I’m not aware of any state in which the legislature is left to decide its own quorum, though it wouldn’t surprise me if there is such a state.

    Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | July 15, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Not only is the quorum set by the constitution, but this is a special session, so even under your proposal it would not apply.

I do like the fact that the quorum rules also state explicitly that a smaller number can go ahead and vote to compel the remainder to show up.

    But what happens if/when they don’t show when compelled?

    Suppose the GOP majority still in TX votes to compel the Dems to come back to TX and do their jobs. Suppose the Dems choose to stay in D.C. rather than provide a legislative quorum.

    What then?

    The governor could issue arrest warrants, but they have no force outside TX; the Dems are effectively safe as long as they remain in D.C. The governor could request assistance from the D.C. or Capitol Police or the FBI, but there’s no reason to expect they’ll drop everything (or anything, for that matter) and expend resources to help him out.

    Unless there’s a constitutional or statutory provision for handling wayward legislators who refuse to return (which sounds like a resignation to me, but it’s not my call to make), the Dems have effectively stymied the TX legislature.

    Keep in mind, though: Both parties share a critical flaw; they both blindly assume that because they are in power, they will always be in power, and they both act accordingly. But the pendulum never stops swinging, and power will change hands sooner or later.

    Ergo, whatever actions Gov. Abbot takes now will set a precedent, and that precedent will be one-upped the next time the Ds hold the majority and the Rs walk out to deny a quorum.

    Never give yourself a political tool that you aren’t willing to have used against you twice as hard.

Texas should define “Lawmakers leaving the State during a legislative session is a de facto resignation.”

    Milhouse in reply to CaptTee. | July 15, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Who is “Texas” in this case? The legislature can’t do anything until there’s a quorum. And in any case what you’re proposing amounts to a constitutional amendment, which the legislature can’t do. If legislatures were allowed to “define” resignation as they liked then they would be able to expel members at will, notwithstanding the constitutional criteria for expulsion. Clearly they can’t do that.