Aug 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas Democrats win restraining order preventing arrest, begin to return home

Group of Texas democrats give a press conference

Texas state Rep. Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, joined by fellow Democratic Texas state representatives at a press conference on July 30. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Texas Democrats who fled the state last month to block a Republican effort to pass voting restrictions scored a legal victory Sunday night after a district judge signed a temporary restraining order blocking their arrests, the Texas Tribune reports.

Why it matters: The order paves the way for the dozens of Democrats to return home without risking arrest and prevents Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) from "detaining, confining or otherwise restricting" them, per the Tribune.

Background: The Democrats fled to D.C. in July, and in doing so, broke quorum and prevented Republicans from passing the voting restrictions bill.

  • Abbott threatened to have the lawmakers arrested once they returned to the Lone Star State.

The big picture: Some of the Texas Democrats already began to make their way home this weekend, reports NBC News.

  • The order will expire in two weeks unless extended by State District Judge Brad Urrutia, per the Tribune.

However, Republican leaders will have a chance to fight the temporary restraining order during a court hearing scheduled for Aug. 20, per NBC.

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