Current as of 1:37 a.m. on June 26.
If you are confused about what’s going on in the Texas Legislature right now, don’t worry — everyone is.
After Fort Worth Senator Wendy Davis (D) failed to filibuster through the end of the legislative session, which ended at midnight on Tuesday, a roll call vote on a bill that would have shut the doors on all but 5 of the state’s abortion clinics was taken. During the roll call, the senate gallery became so boisterous that the vote was interrupted, sending the vote past the midnight deadline.
While the Texas Senate’s website initially showed the vote as happening on Wednesday, June 26 — falling past the midnight cutoff — the Sentate’s website has since been altered to show the vote as occurring before midnight. It is important to note that, while certainly concerning, the website is not official. Though there is wide consensus that the vote occurred just after the clock struck 12, and many Democrats are using the changed dates as central part of their rallying cry. Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, can be seen here holding up highlighted copies of the change.
We took screenshots of the website before and after the change. The before picture we snapped at 12:53 AM CDT, and the second we snapped at 1:05 AM CDT.
Republicans are currently contending that the bill passed 19-10, entirely along party lines. Democrats, however, argue that the bill passed too late and is invalid. At 1:30 a.m. CDT, the Senate left the floor to caucus to determine whether the bill had actually been passed. So, the reality is that even the people that voted on the bill have no idea what’s going on.
The idea of “rules” seem to be a little blurry in the minds of Texas’s Republicans. Davis’s filibuster lasted 9 hours before she was stopped by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) because she mentioned Planned Parenthood’s budget, which the Senate ruled was off topic. During her 9-hour stint, she was unable to sit down, take a bathroom break or even lean on the podium. The rules were enforced heavily, and eventually resulted in her failing to push the vote past the midnight limit and the gallery taking the filibuster up on her behalf.
But, it turns out the midnight limit didn’t matter anyway. Welcome to Texas! Where the rules only apply sometimes.
This post is current as of 1:37 a.m. CDT. Don’t worry, we won’t be altering any time stamps later.