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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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  • Can I please know what can be improved about my question? What additional information is needed?
    – gparyani
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:14
  • You can't apply the US constitution to this issue as it is the Texas constitution that controls it. In addition none of these members are committing or have committed any crime as part of this action so it wouldn't apply anyway.
    – Joe W
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:21
  • @JoeW As I commented on the answer, they could just falsely accuse them of a crime so that the paragraph applies, then drop the charges when they return to the state.
    – gparyani
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:23
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    @gparyani As I commented on the answer, no, they can't.
    – Joe C
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:24
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    Who is going to extradite someone over obviously false charges? Your question depends on the state of Texas breaking many laws in order to bring back people who have broken none. The fallout from that would be enormous
    – Joe W
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:25

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They don't have to flee the country as the state of Texas can only arrest them in the state of Texas. The quote you have in your question does not apply here as they are not charged with any of those. They are not doing their job which is not a case of treason or is it any sort of crime.

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.

If you look at who is responsible for returning them to the chambers it is the Texas Department of Public Safety which can only operate in the state of Texas.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/texas-democrats-flee-state-effort-block-gop-backed-voting-restrictions-n1273667

Absent lawmakers can be legally compelled to return to the Capitol; the source said Democrats expect state Republicans to ask the Department of Public Safety to track them down.

If they attempt to pin false charges on them no state will extradite them over it and they will face criminal charges over filing false reports.

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  • As I said, they can simply pin false criminal charges on them so that the extradition clause of the constitution applies, then drop them upon returning to the state.
    – gparyani
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:21
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    @gparyani Who is going to extradite them over obviously false charges?
    – Joe W
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:23
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    @gparyani And they would risk the legal consequences of it? The lawsuits for that would be massive as it is a clear violation of rights. And besides even with that excuse it proves that they don't have to flee the country and at worst just go to a Democrat controlled state.
    – Joe W
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:26
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    @gparyani It doesn't compel anything for obviously false charges. The states are obligated to make sure that the charges are real before they do anything.
    – Joe W
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:27
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    @gparyani I am not sure where I can find a quote of that but it shouldn't be needed. To honestly think a state is required to extradite because of false charges is scary.
    – Joe W
    Jul 14, 2021 at 21:45

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