Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) responded on Wednesday to attempts by local authorities to go around his executive order barring government entities from being able to mandate mask-wearing.
In a tweet, Abbott explained what would happen to those who defy the order, writing, “Any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy GA-38—which prohibits gov’t entities from mandating masks—will be taken to court. The path forward relies on personal responsibility—not government mandates.”
Any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy GA-38—which prohibits gov't entities from mandating masks—will be taken to court.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 11, 2021
A press release made it clear that Governor Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are “Aligned in Defense of Executive Order Prohibiting Mask Mandates.”
The press release stated:
Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced the filing of a mandamus petition in the 5th Court of Appeals to strike down the actions by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. The judge’s order violates Executive Order GA-38 and state law. GA-38 prohibits governmental entities and officials from mandating face coverings. It has the force and effect of state law and supersedes local rules and regulations.
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.
“Under Executive Order GA-38, no governmental entity can require or mandate the wearing of masks,” said Governor Abbott. “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.”
“This isn’t the first time we have dealt with activist characters. It’s deja vu all over again,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Attention-grabbing judges and mayors have defied executive orders before, when the pandemic first started, and the courts ruled on our side – the law. I’m confident the outcomes to any suits will side with liberty and individual choice, not mandates and government overreach.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, a judge ruled against an executive order by Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday, saying that some local officials are temporarily allowed to require masks. Officials then took action to impose COVID-19 measures.
Additionally, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was also successful in seeking out a temporary restraining order against Abbott’s ban on Tuesday.
A Dallas County district judge ruled that Abbott’s executive order is not “necessary action to combat the pandemic.”
The judge wrote, “In his role, Judge Jenkins leads the County government in providing, among other services, safety protection for all citizens of Dallas County.”
In May, Abbott signed an executive order “prohibiting governmental entities in Texas — including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials — from requiring or mandating mask wearing,” per a press release.
The order also relates to the prohibition of “governmental entities and officials” from “restricting activities in response to the COVID-19 disaster.”
“The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities,” said Governor Abbott at the time. “Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.”