Texas Dems Who Fled Washington D.C. Sue Gov. Greg Abbott for Causing ‘Anxiety'
Texas House Democrats claim they have been 'deprived of liberty'
Texas House Democrats who fled Washington, D.C., to avoid voting on the election reform bill, have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott, claiming his threat to arrest them upon their return to the state caused them “distress,” “anxiety,” and “embarrassment.”
According to The Texas Tribune:
Twenty-two Texas House Democrats sued some of the state’s top Republican leaders in federal court in Austin late Friday, alleging that GOP officials’ efforts to bring them home for a special legislative session infringed on their constitutional rights to free speech and to petition the government for redress of grievances.
The lawsuit was filed on the final day of the first special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott — and on the eve of a second specially called legislative session — and names as defendants Abbott, House Speaker Dade Phelan, and State Rep. James White.
ON PLANE TO DC: Texas Democratic lawmakers are leaving state to break quorum to stop Republican voting bill. Veteran Capitol observers say this is unchartered territory. Photo from Democrat on the plane. https://t.co/YOuOMb0A2m pic.twitter.com/abWoARvFIC— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) July 12, 2021
The Texas House Democrats who filed the lawsuit were part of a 50 strong group who flew to Washington, D.C., to avoid voting on an election and voting reform bill.
The lower chamber of Texas’s legislature is unable to have a quorum to conduct official business with over 50 House Democrats out of the state.
They escaped Texas to protest the proposed legislation to reform elections.
According to the complaint, the Texas House Democrats have been “deprived of liberty for substantial periods of time, suffered much anxiety and distress over separation from their families, and much discomfort and embarrassment.”
They also claimed their “reputations” have been “impaired.”
KWTX, a CBS affiliate, reported:
“The lawsuit alleges that some Democrats are being targeted because of their race and skin color, but then provides no evidence."
“Democrats’ attorney, Craig Anthony Washington, is a former Democratic lawmaker, who is practicing law under a probationally suspended license, according to the State Bar of Texas.”
The lawsuit also frames the plaintiffs as “victims of a discriminatory scheme” stated on “their protected status.”
I also accuse Abbot, Phelan, and White of pursuing “deliberate acts of status discrimination.”
KWTX also reported:
[The lawsuit] claims the three Republican lawmakers acted together under the “color of law” to cause the harm alleged in the suit but then points no specific harmful actions other than “public statements.” The lawsuit also says some individual plaintiffs experienced “retaliatory attacks, threats, and attempts at coercion relating to the exercise of their First Amendment rights” but again does not provide specifics.
Earlier this month, Texas state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, one of the Democrats who fled Texas to block new voter integrity laws from passing, was forced to admit that photo ID is needed for adult life.
Thompson was grilled by U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) during a House Oversight Committee hearing this week.
Rep. Thompson had no choice but to confess during the hearing that government-issued IDs are essentially needed in order to be a functioning member of society as an adult.