Quorum: Three Texas Democrats return after six week stunt

Arrest warrants had been issued for the Texas House Democrats who fled the state to prevent a quorum earlier this summer. A TRO briefly prevented the warrants from being exercised, but yesterday the Dems lost at the state supreme court. That meant they could be forcibly dragged back to work. So today, three members of the fleebaggers’ caucus returned to work bringing the total number of lawmakers to 99, a quorum.

With a quorum established in the chamber, Murphy said there is no longer a “call of the House” and the 52 civil arrest warrants signed by Phelan for the absent Democrats are moot.

If the House is without a quorum in the future, they would have to start the process from the beginning.

“Oh, I expect that’s exactly what will occur — but in a much quicker fashion,” Murphy said Thursday.

With 150 total members, 100 lawmakers must be present in the House to establish a quorum. But on Thursday, Leo Pacheco of San Antonio officially resigned from his seat. With his absence, and the departure of Jake Ellzey of Waxahachie for Congress earlier this year, the new magic number for a quorum in the chamber is 99.

Here’s the moment:

The returning Dems published a joint letter saying they were proud of the “heroic effort.” And of course now they say it’s time to move past partisanship so they vote on issues related to schools and COVID.

I’m not sure what this stunt actually accomplished beyond a few weeks delay and some embarrassing headlines for the Democrats involving a) how they spread COVID and b) went on vacations in the midst of their protest. Nevertheless, there are some national Democrats tweeting out praise for their efforts.

Beto is proud of them too so they can add that to their resumes.

But not everyone was pleased. One of the Dems who fled the state tried to shame the returning lawmakers:

Here’s the bottom line from the Associated Press:

It leaves Democrats much in the same position as when the holdout started: unable to permanently stop the GOP-controlled Legislature from putting new limits and rules over how more that 16 million registered voters can cast a ballot. And federal voting rights protections that Texas Democrats lobbied for while in Washington still face long odds of getting around GOP opposition in Congress.

In other words, this accomplished nothing.

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