The runaway Texas Democrat state legislators have spent the last few weeks embarrassing their state, national Democrats, and the people they were elected to represent. Now, at least 22 of them are embarrassing themselves with a rather unusual lawsuit against Republican Governor Greg Abbott and other officials. To their credit, two of the absentee representatives have disclaimed any authorization of filing the complaint in the case.
The papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on August 6 named Abbott, Dade Phelan, the state Speaker, and state representative James White as defendants.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants engaged in a “scheme and conspiracy” to infringe the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights as well as the interests of the “classes of persons they represent.”
The alleged conspiracy was based on race because plaintiffs are “either black or white.” Discrimination based on creed is alleged because the plaintiffs have a “faith or belief” that every citizen has the right to vote.
Discrimination based on color is alleged because plaintiffs are distinguishable based on the “melanin in their skin.” Natural origin discrimination is alleged because some of the plaintiffs are descendants of persons born in other countries.
No specific factual allegations of the alleged discrimination or other evidence are presented as part of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants planned to violate the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to assemble, redress grievances, speak, travel, and vote. It also alleges that the defendants attempted to “persuade” members of the U.S. Congress to “help support them in their quest.”
The complaint also requests a class action but does not name or describe any alleged class members and includes the required allegations to make a class action case.
The plaintiffs claim that they were detained for extended periods and endured worry, distress, discomfort, and shame as a result. While they claim they paid “substantial sums” of money to fly from Texas to Washington, D.C., their lawsuit only seeks $5 in actual damages.
The complaint seeks $10 in punitive damages and “reasonable attorneys fees.” The attorney for the plaintiffs has a history of several suspensions of his license to practice law.
According to Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School and a Fox News legal pundit, the case is “demonstrably meritless.”
Governor Abbott has stated that extraordinary sessions of the Texas legislature will be held until the runaways return to the state. There has yet to be a response to the case.