Ken Paxton is defeated again in Texas Supreme Court

Ash Jurberg
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton suffered another defeat today in their war on masks as theTexas Supreme Court rejected AG Ken Paxton's bid to ban school districts’ mask mandates.

Paxton went to the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday in a bid to have them overrule a Travis County judge who allowed mask mandates to proceed in any school district in the state.

In ruling against Paxton, the Texas Supreme Court cited The Supreme Court cited Rule 52.3(e) of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure,

The battle over masks has been raging for weeks.

As students in Texas returned to school in August, Governor Abbott reiterated his government's policy on masks.

"Under Executive Order GA-38, no governmental entity can require or mandate the wearing of masks," The path forward relies on personal responsibility – not government mandates. The State of Texas will continue to vigorously fight the temporary restraining order to protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans." Gov Abbott

Abbott has since been challenged on this by various counties across Texas. AG Paxton compiled a list of the 50+ Texas school districts and 8 counties that defied his order and adopted mask mandates.

Harris County. Christian Menefee, Country Attorney for Harris County, filed a lawsuit against GA-38. In his statement, Menefee wrote, "Governor Greg Abbott has repeatedly misused his authority under Texas disaster laws. The current wave of the Delta variant presents a real and imminent threat to our most vulnerable populations, and local officials need to be able to respond to the crisis."

Gov Abbott and Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton fought back, lodging a countersuit yesterday in the Texas Supreme Court. They were successful Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked mask mandates in Dallas and Bexar counties.

Before Abbott and Paxton could celebrate their latest win, a Travis County judge granted a new restraining order that temporarily blocks Gov. Greg Abbott from prohibiting mask mandates in Texas public schools.

On the 13th, San Antonio and Bexar Counties followed suit with Judge Antonia Arteaga approving a lawsuit heard in Texas’s 57th Civil District Court requesting for a temporary restraining order to allow schools to enforce a mask mandate. The next day Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was successful in his lawsuit against Abbott. Travis County also filed a lawsuit. This granted school districts within those counties to enforce masks on returning students.

And now, the Texas Supreme Court has once again sided with the counties.

One of the first to celebrate their loss was a potential candidate for the 2022 Texas Governor race, Beto O'Rourke. He claimed the result was "a win for Texas children and the local leaders who are fighting for them."

It remains to be seen what Paxton and Abbott will do next. They seem determined to prevent mask mandates in schools despite the rising number of COVID cases in Texas.

Readers, what do you think? Do you think Paxton and Abbott should continue to fight this battle in court? Or do you side with the counties that want to protect the Texas students?

Lets us know your thoughts on the current Texas War on Masks!

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San Antonio, TX

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