This is turning into national news. Over 50 members of the Texas House have arrived in DC to prevent a quorum in Texas. The legislature is considering a law to restrict voting rights, so they left the state to prevent the law from being passed. They will be in the capitol tomorrow to lobby the Senate to pass legislation to protect voting rights. This is political drama at its highest, brought to you by the great state of Texas. Stay tuned.
Good for them.
This is a big deal. If memory serves, didn’t Texas Democrats use this strategy before?
What is the timeline for the Texas legislature to pass the bill?
Yes, I’m pretty sure they did the same thing, without leaving the state, within the past few months. If was successful in that the bill wasn’t passed at that time.
The Democrats also did it back in 2003 wrt redistricting.
They did it back in the early 2000s, too. They can’t stop the bill, because the governor will just call another special session. Their goal is to spur Congress to enact legislation that will prevent states from removing voting rights. And to piss off the Republicans. Those are two laudable goals. They are meeting with members of Congress today.
Should be straightforward.
Voting rights are constitutionally protected. Limiting them should be disallowed. It might have to go through Congress (and GOP obstructionists) or SCOTUS (GOP-stacked).
What could go wrong?
The constitution is remarkably quiet on voting rights, and pretty much gives the final day to the states, which is how federal laws on voting are fought in the Supreme Court.
The constitution says people may vote, but does not limit restrictions. So, yes, you may vote, but only on one Tuesday between the hours of 3:00 AM and 4:30 AM at the only poll in the state located in the remotest, inaccessible place, and provided you have a concealed-carry gun permit which is the only ID approved.
That’s partially true.
The federal government gets to dictate how federal elections are conducted. The thing is that the federal government has largely been silent overall, but has made a few rules.
States are not required to conduct their elections in the same way, and may make a completely different way of conduction elections for state level offices. The core problem is that it requires money to conduct an election, and so most states adhere to federal rules for all elections that will be conducted on the same day as federal elections. Elections held on other days can and often do have very separate rules and methods.
One partial solution would be for Presidential elections, the only election in which all of us vote, to be run by the federal government. This would require a constitutional amendment, but it would be nice, consistent, and fair - I think.
It doesn’t require a constitutional amendment. The federal government already has the authority to regulate presidential elections. This is the method of how congress could protect elections as a whole.
If a state wanted to have separate rules, they would have the authority to do so, but it would mean that the state would then have to run two separate election systems. One for state elections, and one for federal elections. The strategy to protect voting rights would hinge on states not wanting to spend the money to do this.
Political theater at its best. Tune in next time when they’ll all be arrested.