Gov. Abbott’s Ban on Local Mask Mandates Upheld by Texas Supreme Court

In a win for the Texas GOP Abbott after local entities across the state attempted to defy him, the Texas Supreme Court sided on Sunday with him, ruling in favor of upholding his order prohibiting mask mandates, The Hill writes.

Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order against mask requirements was issued on July 29.

After the intermediate appellate courts upheld Friday district court judges’ temporary restraining orders allowing local authorities in Harris, Dallas, Bexar and Travis- Texas’s four most populous counties- to temporarily override Abbott’s state mask requirement ban, the Supreme Court action blocked them though local leaders remain defiant and many mask mandates across the state remain in effect.

Celebrating the Supreme Court decision on Twitter, Abbott argued his order doesn’t prohibit using masks, including in schools, but underlined that the State of Texas will continue to fight to protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was more pointed in his reaction on Twitter on Sunday after the ruling, saying it should serve as a reminder to all ISDs and Local officials that the Governor’s order stands, underlining that Texas Disaster Act of 1975 gives Abbott power to act as the commander in chief’ of the state’s response to a disaster.

Yet, the Dallas Independent School District, the second-largest school district in the state, and the Crowley Independent School District, among others, have already pushed back on the high Texas court ruling and, according to a statement shared by the City of San Antonio, the Bexar County health authority’s public school mask mandate would still remain in place.

The statement points that the Supreme Court’s decision has little practical effect with City Attorney Andy Segovia saying the city still plans to present its case in a Bexar County district court, emphasizing  that Abbott cannot use his emergency powers to suspend laws that provide local entities the needed flexibility to act in an emergency.

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