Greg Abbott Push Against Mask Ban Defeated By Lower Court

( Local jurisdictions in Texas will be able to impose their own mask mandates, despite an order issued by the governor.

Judges in both Bexar and Dallas counties issued two separate rulings on Tuesday that blocked an executive order issued by Republican Governor Greg Abbott on a temporary basis. That order tried to ban local jurisdictions from issuing their own mask mandates.

After that executive order was issued, officials in both Dallas and San Antonio filed separate lawsuits. They both said the mask mandates were necessary as the infection rates for COVID-19 are soaring in Texas, as have the number of hospitalizations due to the virus.

They also pointed to the fact that Abbott himself asked hospitals to limit any optional procedures so that beds could be freed up for more people who were infected with COVID-19.

In the Dallas County case, the judge ruled that the top elected official in the county “cannot be precluded from implementing the mitigation strategies he believes are sound, reliable and backed by scientific evidence.”

The temporary restraining order that the judge placed on the executive order will be in place until August 24. That’s when a separate judge will hold another hearing on the issue.

This is just another example of judges putting restrictions on governors who are trying to prevent local jurisdictions from putting mask mandates in place.

In Florida, parents are suing Republican Governor Ron DeSantis after he blocked mask mandates put in place by local school districts for the upcoming school year.

In Texas, Abbott has said that his stance on masks is more a call for people to take personal responsibility, rather than the state government taking what he called authoritarian action.

There are seven states that have currently banned school districts from issuing mask mandates. That includes Arizona and Arkansas in addition to Florida.

On the other end of the spectrum are Washington, California and New Jersey, who are requiring all students, staff and visitors to public, private and parochial school buildings for the fall school year.

Those Democrat-led states are falling in line with recent updated guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says all staff and school children should wear masks while they are inside.

Abbott’s mask mandate order threatened to fine school districts with huge fines if they went ahead and imposed mask mandates on any students or staff.

In school districts in Dallas and San Antonio, leaders have defied that order, saying they will impose mask mandates for the fall semesters.

In the Brexar County case, Antonia Arteaga, the state judge in the case, said the concerns that local public health officials have for the children attending schools convinced her to make her decision.

During the court proceeding on Tuesday, the lawyer for the top official in Dallas County, Brent Walker, said:

“The governor is not vested with authority to control everything that happens in the state. People are going to die unless we start doing more.”