The never-ending saga of the Texas Democrats continues. Not only have the state representatives abandoned their duty in violation of state law by failing to appear for legislative sessions, they're suing key state Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX).
In his reporting for The Texas Tribune, James Barragán notes throughout that the lawsuit "does not provide specifics."
Friday's lawsuit, filed in federal court in Austin, came the last day of the last day of the first special session. Not only is Gov. Abbott named as a defendant, but so are House Speaker Dade Phelan and State Rep. James White.
"It's unclear why White was listed as a defendant. White said Friday night he was not aware he'd been sued or why he was named as a defendant. The lawsuit also did not use Phelan's legal name, which is Matthew McDade Phelan," Barragán noted.
There are also issues with the plaintiffs. Reps. Shawn Tierry and Nicole Collier, though they are listed as plaintiffs, released statements that they did not sign onto the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants "have embarked upon a course of conduct which is intended to violate State and Federal Constitutional Rights of the Plaintiffs" as it pertains to their First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The relevant part of the lawsuit which has gained particular mockery claims as follows:
Plaintiffs allege that, as a direct consequence and result of the acts of Defendants herein above complained of, Plaintiffs have been deprived of liberty for substantial periods of time, suffered much anxiety and distress over the separation from their families, and much discomfort and embarrassment and their reputations impaired, and have lost much time from their homes and the companionship and care of their families and have been required to spend substantial sums of money and of time traveling to and from the State of Texas to persuade Congress to pass laws to ameliorate the harm done and redress their grievances.
The lawsuit claims there were $5 in actual damages and $10 in punitive damages.
The Texas Democrats fled to Washington D.C. to protest a voter integrity bill being considered in Texas, though some then went elsewhere, including away on vacation as well. They've also solicited care packages and donations over Twitter.