The Supreme Court of Texas just said no to a Democratic petition from lawmaker to renew funding for the state legislator on Monday of this week.
The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbot, vetoed the funding back in June for the state legislator to ensure that paychecks were withheld from Democrat lawmakers. He took this action right after Democrats refused to attend voting procedure for bills in an effort to stall Republican legislation. This caused a break in the quorum and prevented the Texas House form moving forward with regular business.
After Abbott cut the funding to the legislator, the Democrats went to the Texas supreme court and petitioned them to intervene in the issue and overturn Governor Abbott’s veto of the state funding. The court has denied the Democrat request though, stating that the problem they’ve been asked to resolve isn’t between equal branches of government, but it simply within one branch of government, which is the legislature and that it falls outside of the supreme court’s purview.
The Democrats, of course, think they’re justified in their actions. While they were in the District of Columbia, they met with Biden admin members and Congress members to try and pass federal legislation. They even held public meeting to try and draw more attention to their ‘just’ cause.
They have made it publicly known that they believe that defeating these Republican-based bills have justified their actions of departure from the state and breaking state quorum, even though it also kept important Democrat laws from receiving funding, just like Article X.
They also haven’t returned to the house to continue their business. House Republican members are insisting that they pass the elections bill without their Democrat counterparts and that other legal priorities be addressed before Article X. August 6th was the last day of the special session.
The court added that evidence gathered from public statements and the nature of the events which took place make it clear that the dispute does not exist between the Texas Legislature and the Governor, nor even between the House and Governor, but the “principal dispute” exists between members of the Legislature itself.
The court also noted that Abbott’s agenda is supported by the Republican-controlled legislature and identified that opposing representatives broke quorum in order to facilitate their opposition. But the court ruled that breaking quorum not only stopped the Democrats from passing the bills they opposed, but also Article X, the bill required to fund them. Furthermore, the court discovered that Article X funding could have been restored in a special session if they had just been around to do so. Instead, the Democrats cut their nose off to spite their face by choosing to leave.
The court finalized their decree by explaining that because the dispute within the legislature is not one of a “separation of powers” between the Governor’s office and the House, “the petition… writ of mandamus is denied.”
Author: Maryann Sandoval