Texas lawmakers are expected to discuss voting reforms meant to provide greater election security after the Supreme Court upheld Arizona rules that Democrats had claimed were illegal and discriminatory.
The Texas legislature will open a special session on Thursday at the behest of Gov. Greg Abbott.
"Today, I'm announcing the formation of the House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies, a select committee with expanded membership and expertise is the ideal forum for ensuring the thoughtful consideration of items that may be on a special session call," Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan tweeted Tuesday.
Officially, the subjects to be discussed remain unknown, other than that they will be submitted by Abbott, but Democratic Rep. John Bucy III, who is on the committee, told local KVUE that he "can only imagine that the select committee will deal with elections issues." Abbott had also reportedly said in May that state lawmakers would discuss bills related to elections and bail reform during a special session some time this year.
Once Abbott formally states which topics will be discussed, the session will be limited to bills related to those issues.
The Texas House and Senate each had voting reform bills, and Democrats staged a walkout in May that derailed Republican efforts. Democratic Rep. Jessica González of Dallas told the Texas Tribune that it could happen again at the special session.
"From a caucus perspective, since we’re going into the unknown, we have to keep every option open, which includes denying quorum," González said.
The previous walkout drew the attention of the White House, with Vice President Kamala Harris meeting with several of the Texas state lawmakers in Washington in June.
The eyes of the nation were on the Supreme Court last week when they issued their decision in a case that called into question the legality of Arizona's rules that restricted third parties from collecting or submitting a person's absentee ballot (commonly known as ballot harvesting) and called for provisional ballots to be thrown out if cast at the wrong precinct.
The Democratic National Committee claimed that those measures were discriminatory and violated the Voting Rights Act. The court, in a 6-3 decision, held that they were properly enacted rules meant to protect election integrity, and that Democrats had not presented convincing evidence to show discriminatory intent or impact that would warrant a change.
The court's acceptance of Arizona's election security measures could embolden Texas and other states to pass new rules of their own, at a time when Democrats in Washington are looking to pass sweeping legislation that would force states to comply with standards that would strip away restrictions on ballot harvesting and voter ID requirements.
Fox News' Brie Stimson contributed to this report.