By Jared Woodfill
President, Conservative Republicans of Texas
Over the past few days, many individuals and organizations, including CRTXNews.com and Conservative Republicans of Texas, have called on Governor Abbott to call a second special session. During this same period, the Joe Straus left was gloating over the successes they had during the first special session; including killing women’s privacy, preventing tax reform, refusing to hear school choice legislation, avoiding some pro-life bills, and walking away from most of Governor Abbott’s and Lieutenant Governor Patrick’s legislative priorities. However, Joe Straus, his lieutenants, and the Democrats only win if we give up and go home. Instead, I am hopeful, and calling on, Governor Abbott to call another special session. One remembers when Governor Perry was faced with a similar dilemma years ago when Democrats ran to Ardmore, Oklahoma and Albuquerque, New Mexico to avoid fair redistricting. Instead of giving up, Governor Perry kept calling the legislature back until the job was done. Thanks to Governor Perry’s commitment, we have fairly drawn districts that reflect voting patterns across the state of Texas.
Recently, State Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, stated that she expects the Legislature to be called back for another special session if only to deal with the state’s congressional map. At a Tea Party meeting on Monday evening, Buckingham discussed a recent federal court ruling that held two congressional districts, 35 and 27, violated the federal Voting Rights Act. Then the panel of three federal judges in San Antonio unanimously ruled that the two congressional districts violated the Voting Rights Act. They further concluded that the map must be redrawn by the Legislature or a federal court. Our Attorney General, Ken Paxton, has appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court. District 35 includes parts of San Antonio and Austin. District 27 includes Corpus Christi, Bay City and areas east of Austin.
If the United States Supreme Court upholds the federal court’s ruling then the Legislature will likely be called back to redraw the map in a manner consistent with the opinion. Changing one district implicates numerous others. The federal court has not yet ruled on a challenge to the state House map. Senator Buckingham stated, “I’m guessing we’re heading back for that (another special session).” She further concluded that Governor Abbott is “in charge of specials. He can call them when he wants them.”
I am hopeful that Senator Buckingham and her colleagues, including Lieutenant Governor Patrick, will call upon Governor Abbott to call a second special session. We cannot allow Joe Straus and the to left eviscerate our conservative agenda. The people of this state gave the Republican Party the majority mantle-it is now time to deliver. Call a second special session Governor Abbott!