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The New York Times reports:
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and the Republican-controlled legislature are eager to pass legislation making it harder to vote, especially for people of color. Most Republican-led states are doing the same thing, even in states that Trump won (like Texas).
Governor Abbott’s despicable attempt to disenfranchise voters is the centerpiece of the proposed law, but it includes other delicacies for the conservative base:
While the second attempt to pass voting measures will be perhaps the most closely watched legislative battle when the session convenes on Thursday, Mr. Abbott also called for the Legislature to take up measures combating perceived “censorship” on social media platforms; banning the teaching of “critical race theory” in public schools; further limiting abortions; putting in place new border security policies; and restricting transgender athletes from competing in school sports.
During the regular session, Republicans tried to enact restrictions on voting that would reduce voting in communities of color, but the Democratic minority walked out, denying the legislature a quorum. And time ran out. Governor Abbott called a special session to get the voting bill passed. This time, the Democrats again walked out, chartered a plane and flew to Washington, D.C. to plead for national legislation to protect the right to vote.
WASHINGTON — Texas lawmakers traveled down starkly divergent political paths on Tuesday, as Republicans in Austin signaled their intention to push forward with an overhaul of the state’s election system while Democrats who had fled the state a day earlier began lobbying lawmakers in Congress to pass comprehensive federal voting rights legislation.
While Democrats celebrated their immediate victory and a torrent of media attention, they confronted a much bigger long-term challenge: There is little the party can do to stop Republicans from ultimately passing a wide array of voting restrictions, with Gov. Greg Abbott vowing to call “special session after special session after special session” until an election bill is passed.
But Democrats, as long as they remain away from Texas, appear likely to succeed in delaying the G.O.P. voting bill. Chris Turner, the Democratic leader in the Texas State House, said that 57 members of the party’s delegation were now absent from Austin, more than the 51 necessary to stop business from proceeding. They have pledged to remain in Washington for the duration of the Texas session, and Republicans do not appear to have a legal way to bring them back from Washington.
“Best I know, Texas law enforcement doesn’t have jurisdiction outside the state of Texas,” Mr. Turner said Tuesday outside the Capitol.
Meanwhile, keep your eyes on a rising Democratic star: James Talarico, a former middle school teacher in the public schools of Round Rock, a proud progressive, and the youngest member of the legislature (32). See this Tweet.