The Texas House Speaker signed late Tuesday civil arrest warrants for 52 Democratic lawmakers who fled the state last month to block a GOP effort to pass voting restrictions, per the Dallas Morning News.
Driving the news: The GOP-led Texas House of Representatives voted 80-12 in favor of the move, hours after the state Supreme Court temporarily blocked a restraining order by a lower court protecting the Democrats.
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It means that those among the group who have returned to Texas can be detained and forcibly returned to the state Capitol to reestablish quorum, the Texas Tribune notes.
The court have the Democrats until 4pm Thursday to respond to the ruling.
What they're saying: Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott, in a statement, "The Supreme Court of Texas swiftly rejected this dangerous attempt by Texas Democrats to undermine our Constitution and avoid doing the job they were elected to do."
The other side: State Democratic Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer, Gina Hinojosa and Jasmine Crockett in a joint statement that it is "no surprise" that the Republican governor Greg Abbott and House Speaker "want to arrest their political opponents," per CNN.
"We will defend the freedom to vote, and we look forward to our temporary injunction hearing on August 20th," the statement added.
— Texas Democrats (@texasdemocrats) August 10, 2021
Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the vote, the signing of the arrest warrant and further comment from the Texas Democrats.
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