“If you care about the Constitution, there are constitutional duties to show up when there is a session and represent the people they are elected to represent,” Paxton told Newsmax. They “could be arrested as soon as they step back on Texas soil.”
“We have a minority of Democrats who decided that they are not going to let any other legislator vote, so they’re not even going let other legislators do their duty,” Paxton, a Republican, said. “It’s clearly a violation of the law.”
The Epoch Times requested comment from Caucus Chair Chris Turner, one of the top Democrats who left the state.
On July 12, dozens of Texas House Democrats walked out of a special legislative session and boarded flights to Washington, where they have remained since. The move left the Republicans without the quorum required to conduct legislative business.
The Democrats used the move to thwart the passage of Republican-led election reform legislation. In Washington, they’re pushing for the passage of the Democrats’ federal level election reform bill, which would vastly expand federal control of elections and usher in nationwide vote-by-mail.
The Democrats’ trip was funded by Powered By People, the election advocacy group run by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas). The group had raised more than $500,000 as of last week.
The Democrats have vowed to stay in Washington for the duration of the special session and possibly longer. According to their estimates, it’s costing $10,000 a day to be there.
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-Texas) told CNN on July 10 before Democrats walked out of the Texas special session: “The message is very clear: America, we need to wake up, we need to preserve our democracy, we need a federal voting rights solution, and we need it now.
“This is a now or never moment. We’re holding the line in Texas, and we’re going to fight with all our might. But even if we were to fix this problem in Texas, it doesn’t solve the problem for the rest of the nation.”
Paxton said Democrats who return from Washington could be arrested as soon as they enter Texas as long as the special session is ongoing. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott can call another special session as soon as the current one expires in early August.
“Ultimately I believe we’ll vote on this issue, so all they’re doing is wreaking havoc on the lives of other legislators,” Abbott said.
Masooma Haq contributed to this report.