After more than 50 Democrats lawmakers fled Texas in an attempt to impede a legislative vote, Governor Abbott vowed that they would be arrested. Sunday, House Speaker Dade Phelan signed a civil warrant for the arrest of Rep. Phillip Cortez.
The Texas Tribune reported, Last week, Cortez returned to Austin from Washington in what he said was an attempt to engage in “good faith dialogue” about House Bill 3, the election legislation. Other Democrats criticized Cortez’s move, saying the lawmaker did not first consult with them before returning to Austin.
On Sunday however, Cortez fled the state once more to Washington DC rejoining his fellow Democrats
The warrant will likely have little effect at this moment. Texas lacks the jurisdiction to make arrests outside of their states boundaries.
This does however make Cortez a fugitive of his own state.
Monday, Speaker Phelan called out Cortez in a statement, “(Cortez) has irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of this chamber” He went on to assert that Cortez “represented to me and his fellow members that he wanted to work on policy and find solutions to bring his colleagues back to Texas.”
“As a condition of being granted permission to temporarily leave the House floor, Rep. Cortez promised his House colleagues that he would return. Instead, he fled the state.”
Representatives of any state, or the Federal Government are elected officials and public servants. Their duty is to serve their constituents and vote on legislation. They are required to do so even if they do not agree with the bill at hand.
These Democrats, rather than serve their constituents fled Texas in an attempt to obstruct the law making process.