Why didn't Texas Democrats leave the U.S. entirely instead of heading to the nation's capital?

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The Politicus
Jul 14, 2021 09:03 PM 0 Answers
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As many of you are aware, Texas Democrats left the state of Texas in order to deny Republicans a quorum, and an order was put out for state police to arrest them. As such, they fled to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., on private jets to evade them.

However, the U.S. Constitution allows states to seek domestic extradition if a wanted person crosses state lines, in Article IV, Section 2:

A person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

I'm aware that any punishment would be political, not criminal, but Texas Republicans can get around this by pinning charges on them to comply with the quoted text above then dropping them immediately upon completion of extradition. I'm also aware that the text only says "State", and as D.C. is not a state, it technically wouldn't comply with it, but I think there may be a court interpretation that D.C. counts as a state for the purposes of this text (I'm not sure, but it seems so as criminals would flock to D.C. if there weren't).

In my mind, if Texas Democrats wanted to get around any potential punishment or extradition, they should have instead fled the country entirely. International extraditions would be governed by the federal government, and as Democrats are in charge of the executive branch, it would be unlikely that the federal government would pressure other countries to extradite them. To be even safer, they could go to a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S., or hop on a ship and head for international waters.

Why did Texas Democrats choose to remain in the country, where they could potentially be forced to return to the state, rather than leave the country and head to a different country or international territory?

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  • July 14, 2021