You’ve already heard all about how the Republicans in Texas have been having fits because the Democrats keep walking out to avoid voting on new re-districting plans that would end up giving the Republicans the advantage at gaining more seats. They’re so dead-set on getting this thing passed that the Governor of Texas has called two special sessions to try and force the issue. What you probably don’t know is that this is a tactic that the Republicans in Texas have used themselves in the past.
The proposal would have required 140 judges to run for election in sub-districts within affected counties. Republicans favored a system in which the governor appoints judges, who are then confirmed by the Senate.
But, the GOP was the minority back then, with only 13 in the 31-member body. So, as the Senate prepared to convene and vote on the proposal, several Republicans went into a closed-door meeting to discuss their options.
On the chamber floor, then-Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock announced that the Senate could not convene because no quorum was present. Only two of the 13 Republican senators were on the floor.
The 1993 Republican walkout only lasted a day. Eventually, the settlement was rejected by an appellate court on a technical issue.
Then-Sen. David Sibley, one of the Republicans who broke the quorum, wouldn’t discuss the circumstances of the 1993 walkout.
“Seems like we did for one day, I guess,” said Sibley, who now works as a lobbyist in Austin. “I don’t really remember that well.”
Asked if the current quorum break was a legitimate option within the rules of the lawmaking process, Sibley responded, “I’ve got nothing to say about that. I’m sorry, I’m just not going to go there.”
Well of course he isn’t. It’s too close to the pot calling the kettle black.