Thursday, August 27, 2020

#TXLEGE: The Leticia van de Putte Precedent on Special Election timing/vacancies

"Put them in fear, O Lord,
That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah"
Psalm 9:20

A couple days ago, we raised the question about the legality of Governor Abbott's special election order in SD-30.

Last night, it was brought to our attention that this isn't the first time in recent memory this situation has occurred.

To wit:
To ensure Democrats don't have one fewer Senate member when the legislative session begins on Jan. 13, [Former Senator Leticia] Van de Putte intends to only vacate her seat [for an ultimately unsuccessful run for San Antonio mayor] once the special election's winner is sworn in.
Whatever you want to say about the propriety or wisdom of holding a special election before the seat is technically "vacant," it's happened before.

Of course, none of that negates anything we've previously said about the nakedly political nature of Abbbot's announcement. But just because something's nakedly political doesn't make it illegal. Ballot box, not courts.

Bottom Line: This topic might very well be one at which the lege should take a look. The status quo might or might not be good. At a minimum, however, Abbott's sunday announcemnt is consistent with how the underlying statues have been understaood in recent years.

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