Friday, September 05, 2003
Can you not hear a loud hissing from the rapidly deflating prospects of the Ten Truant Texas Dems™?
On Tuesday, the defendants in Gonzalo Barrientos et al. v. State of Texas et al. — the lawsuit filed in federal court in Laredo by the Ten Truant Texas Dems™ — filed a very short motion asking for expedited consideration of the State's pending motion to dismiss the Dems' case.
On Wednesday, the three-judge panel issued a notice that at 1:00 o'clock p.m. on Thursday, September 11, in Laredo (mips! I was hoping for Houston so I could go watch!), it will conduct a hearing on all pending motions. This hearing will presumably include both the State's motion to dismiss and the Dems' application for a Temporary Restraining Order to immunize them from "arrest" by the Senate's Sergeant at Arms if a third special session is called; the latter becomes moot if, as expected, the former is granted. A ruling from the bench, followed by a short written opinion (either that same day or perhaps a day or two later), would not surprise me.
On the following Saturday, September 13, Texans go to the polls to vote on a series of proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. Unfortunately, none of these amendments authorizes the live, statewide telecasting of the handcuffing of, administration of sodium pentothal to, and vigorous cross-examination by a volunteer blogger of state legislators who've recently fled the jurisdiction to destroy legislative quorums.
I imagine that state Republican leaders are doing some serious head-knocking behind the scenes to achieve agreement between the House and Senate Republicans on a redistricting bill. Democratic state senators Whitmire and Armbrister may also be a part of some of those discussions, and could quite conceivably play a nontrivial role in both negotiations and a third special session, which may well be called for Monday, September 15.
By contrast, the Ten Truant Texas Dems™ have made themselves effectively irrelevant — and if they remain outside Texas for the third special session, they will quite literally have "disenfranchised" themselves.
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