August 11, 2003
Dems win one in court
The score is now Democrats 1, Republicans 0 as the Texas State Supreme Court refused to grant a writ of mandamus to compel the Dems to return. The GOP is now considering fining the Texas 11 for not showing up, while the Dems have filed a federal lawsuit to block the redistricting effort. The Quorum Report has statements from Dewhurst and Perry (both Word docs). So much for peace and quiet!
Byron has complete coverage of the lawsuits and the Dems' letter to President Bush, an editorial roundup, and a report from the rally on Saturday, while Timo Thompson has photos from the rally (no permalinks, so you may have to scroll down). There's sure to be a lot more action real soon now.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 11, 2003 to Killer D's
How could the Senate, absent a quorum, amend the rules to impose fines? I gather from the article that none currently exist.
They also need to be careful about that. Some Rethug senator a few years from now is going to need to be absent; I seriously doubt the Dems will jump at the opportunity to facilitate him/her.
How could the Senate, absent a quorum, amend the rules to impose fines?
I don't believe they can. The Senate Rules are pretty specific.
Some Rethug senator a few years from now is going to need to be absent; I seriously doubt the Dems will jump at the opportunity to facilitate him/her.
The rules make provisions for legitimate excuses. If a legislator is sick or otherwise unable to attend, it is highly doubtful that the Senate would opt to punish them or compel their attendence. If they don't have a legitimate excuse, however, they deserve to be punished.
“The court’s denial of our writ clarifies that the issue is a legislative matter that only the legislature can and should resolve. The Washington-paid counsel for the 11 Democratic Senators, in opposing Supreme Court intervention, also stated today that the Senate itself has adequate tools to deal with this situation.
“I agree. Accordingly, when the Senate convenes on Tuesday, I expect that Senators will consider appropriate measures against absent members as authorized by the Texas Senate rules and by the Texas Constitution (Article 3, Section 10), for the purpose of compelling their attendance.”
Apparently the Texas S. Ct believes that the legislature has the power to do force their appearance. Wonder how long the Senators can hold out with 10K a day fines...ouch.
This may not turn out to be a DEM win.