Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott announce that the Texas Supreme Court has sided with them, and has ordered Dallas County and Dallas ISD to follow Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-38 which makes local mask mandates illegal.
"Let this ruling serve as a reminder to all ISDs and Local officials that the Governor’s order stands," said Paxton in a Facebook post.
Gov. Abbott's battle to keep mask mandates out of Texas took several hits on Friday as various Texas judges tossed out his appeals and granted restraining orders as Texas counties and school districts fight to keep their local health orders that go against Abbott's executive order GA-38.
According to The Houston Chronicle and KVEO-TV, Travis County Judge Jan Soifer granted temporary restraining orders against Abbott for requests made by Harris County and at least six independent school districts: Edinburg Consolidated ISD, La Joya ISD, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, Hidalgo ISD, Brownsville ISD and Crowley ISD. This allows the districts and Harris County to leave their health orders in place.
Additionally, the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio and the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas tossed out Abbott's appeals, allowing for both county health orders to stay in place.
The Texas Tribune states that "Abbott is all but certain to take the matter to the Texas Supreme Court."
On Tuesday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a mask mandate for schools and businesses in spite of Gov. Greg Abbott's efforts to ban local mask orders.
In retaliation, Gov. Abbott and AG Ken Paxton filed a petition in the 5th Court of Appeals on Wednesday to strike down Jenkin's mandate.
"The Texas Disaster Act clearly states that the Governor has the power to guide the state through emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy the order will be taken to court," said Abbott's release.
On July 29, 2021, Gov. Abbott issued executive order GA-38, emphasizing the need for "personal responsibility" instead of government mandates. Abbott's office says the executive order has the force and effect of state law, superseding local rules and regulations.
“I’m confident the outcomes to any suits will side with liberty and individual choice, not mandates and government overreach,” said Paxton in the release.