Texas Supreme Court rules absent state Democrats can be arrested

The Texas Supreme Court ruled this week that the 52 state Democrats who left the Capitol to delay the passage of an elections bill can be arrested.

The lawmakers fled Texas for Washington in order to deny state Republicans the quorum needed to pass a voting restrictions bill, which critics say will severely impact the capacity for Texans to vote.

The quorum is the minimum number of members needed in order for the Texas legislature to pass valid legislation.

In his ruling Justice Jimmy Blacklock said it is constitutional to compel state legislatures, even with the threat of arrest, to come back into the assembly and resume their duties.

"The legal question before this Court concerns only whether the Texas Constitution gives the House of Representatives the authority to physically compel the attendance of absent members. We conclude that it does," he wrote.