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Texas Democratic State Sen. John Whitmire during a July news conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Photo: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Tuesday evening the state's House Democrats can be arrested if they don't attend the state Capitol due to their efforts to stop a Republican push to pass voting restrictions.

Why it matters: While the court has already blocked lower court orders in Travis and Harris counties protecting the Democrats, this ruling stipulates that under the state Constitution, House leaders can compel members to attend the chamber to conduct legislative business. Consequently, those who do not attend can be arrested.

Details: "The question now before this Court is not whether it is a good idea for the Texas House of Representatives to arrest absent members to compel a quorum," the court said in an opinion.

  • "Nor is the question whether the proposed voting legislation giving rise to this dispute is desirable. Those are political questions far outside the scope of the judicial function."
  • The court noted that the legal question it was presented with "concerns only whether the Texas Constitution gives the House of Representatives the authority to physically compel" absent members to attend the chamber.
  • "We conclude that it does, and we therefore direct the district court to withdraw the [temporary restraining order]," the state Supreme Court added.

Go deeper

Supreme Court upholds qualified immunity for police officers

Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued two rulings for separate cases in Oklahoma and California upholding a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity has been a focus of police reform efforts and would force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties.

Texas Republicans pass new congressional maps in their favor

Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas House voted 84-59 late Monday to approve new congressional district maps that reduce the number of districts with Black and Hispanic majorities, per the Texas Tribune.

Why it matters: The legislation comes after recent census figures found Texas' growing diverse population doesn't bode well for Republicans, who then worked to protect incumbents with the redrawn maps.

Top Democrat predicts "nastiness" for Florida's 2022 legislative session

The Florida Capitol. Photo: Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nothing about Florida's current political discourse would lead you to believe that our representatives are nearing something resembling peace and understanding — and that's not changing anytime soon.

What's happening: State Rep. Evan Jenne, the House Democratic caucus' co-leader, expects a "knock-down, drag-out" legislative session next year, full of "nastiness and controversy" ahead of the 2022 midterms, per Florida Politics.