This month, the nation watched as Texas lawmakers left the state to try to prevent voter suppression from becoming the law of the land in Texas. As Texas lawmakers bring their fight for voting rights to the nation’s capital, we’re fighting in the Texas Supreme Court to check Governor Greg Abbott’s abuse of power.
In the midst of the fight for voting rights is the unlawful action Governor Abbott took last month to veto all funding for the Texas Legislature—effectively abolishing the state’s co-equal Legislative Branch. Governor Abbott explained that by defunding the Legislature, he hoped to coerce lawmakers back to the table to pass voter suppression legislation, among other bills on his personal agenda.
Over 2,000 state employees working for the Legislative Branch are being held hostage by the Governor’s coercive, unlawful act. Their livelihoods have been upended. Texans will go without access to constituent services, and critical work—like redistricting and responding to the energy crisis in the state—will not get done.
Governor Abbott’s move is unconstitutional and threatens a core tenet of democracy: the guarantee of a separation of powers. If the governor can veto funding for the co-equal Legislative Branch of government because he dislikes how the Legislature acted, what would stop the governor from just as easily vetoing funding for the state judiciary?
Under the Texas Constitution, one branch of government cannot effectively abolish another. Governor Abbott’s abuse of power must be checked. So, alongside more than sixty Texas lawmakers, we filed suit on behalf of the Texas AFL-CIO and state employees hurt by Abbott’s action. Our legal challenge has broad and bipartisan support.
Governor Abbott’s unchecked power is a threat to democracy and sets a dangerous precedent that reaches beyond the State of Texas. In statehouses, courtrooms, and communities across the country, we see threats to democracy every day. We believe that fighting for democracy isn’t just about a lofty ideal—it is about fighting for real people in communities, fearlessly and tirelessly. We are firm in our commitment to go to court for democracy and its promise.
When those with power seek to abuse it, we will use the law to fight back. That’s what we are doing in Texas—and it’s why your support of our work is more important than ever.
We’re grateful you’re part of our community. Follow along on Twitter as this case develops. Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. And, if you’re able, consider contributing to our ongoing fight for democracy in court.
President & CEO