WaPo/Reuters reports,

Republicans in the Texas Senate voted on Tuesday to fine 11 fugitive Democrats up to $5,000 a day each to force them to return from New Mexico to vote on a plan that would add Republican seats in the U.S. Congress.

The Democrats angrily vowed they would not pay the fines and would remain out of state and out of the reach of Texas police, as long as necessary to stop the Republican power grab.

The Senate vote came 16 days after the Democrats fled to Albuquerque in neighboring New Mexico to break a quorum in the state senate and stop a proposal to redraw the state’s congressional districts.

The plan likely would change the state’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives from 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans to 22 Republicans and 10 Democrats in the next election, adding to a narrow Republican majority in the House.

This is quite the bizarre spectacle. Well, at least it shows Alabama and California aren’t the only states with whacky politics.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bryan says:

    I like the way Reuters characterize it: “The Republican Power Grab.” not even any scare quotes. When Democrats do it, it’s called redistricting. Sheesh.

  2. James Joyner says:

    There is that.

    Now, granted, redistricting is usually done by the legislature in power the year of the Census.