Of the more than 50 Democratic lawmakers who originally fled, at least 26 have said they plan to remain in the nation’s capital to continue advocating for voting rights with congressional leaders — though Congress’ summer recess is about to begin. “A group of us were always… going to stay here as long as either Congress or the Senate was working on election bills,” state Rep. Michelle Beckley said. “As long as there was movement, we were going to stay.” That group of more than two dozen representatives is not enough to deny Texas Republicans a quorum back in Austin. But a Travis County state district judge also signed a temporary restraining order on Monday that forbids “detaining, confining or otherwise restricting” the Texas state House members that broke quorum. The lawsuit was filed by 19 House members. The temporary order appears to give the Democrats more latitude to stay away from the state capitol even if they were officially called back. An Abbott spokesperson called the ruling “contrary to the constitution.” Another Democratic lawsuit filed Friday has been met with more skepticism. A number of the Texas Democrats who fled to D.C. filed a suit in federal court in Austin that accused Abbott, state House Speaker Dade Phelan and Republican state Rep. James White of violating their constitutional rights. So far, four Democratic lawmakers have come forward to say their names were erroneously included among the 22 named in the lawsuit. The suit, filed by an attorney who is currently on probation until 2024, according to the State Bar of Texas, lacks evidence or specifics to support general claims of “harm” done to the state House Democrats and their First Amendment rights. Beckley said the core group of state House Democrats still in Washington plans to meet with members of Congress as they wait for votes on election bills to come through this week. On Monday, lawmakers met virtually with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). In the meantime, Beckley said those in D.C. and those who have since returned to Texas have still been meeting daily as a caucus over Zoom. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks with a reporter as she protests the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium on the House steps of the U.S. Capitol. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images After several state representatives told web show The Undercurrent that elections bills were meant to maintain Rep . . . read the full article here.
Keywords: unclear, state, texas, house, pass, effort, democratic, democrats, preps, strategy, legislation, voting, senate, election, gop, members, bill, dems
LAW: First Amendment
DATE: 2024, daily, August, Friday, Monday, late June, next week, this week, July 27, 2021
NORP: Texans, Democrats, Democratic, Republican, Republicans
CARDINAL: 19, 22, 50, four, at least 26, more than two dozen