Texas AG Takes School Mask Mandate Fight To Court After Governor’s Failed Efforts

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton holds a joint press conference Feb. 18, 2015 with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, l, to address a Texas federal court's decision on the lawsuit filed by 26 states challenging President Obama... Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton holds a joint press conference Feb. 18, 2015 with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, l, to address a Texas federal court's decision on the lawsuit filed by 26 states challenging President Obama's executive action on immigration. Paxton was indicted Aug. 3, 2015 on three counts of securities fraud not related to his official duties. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 15, 2021 1:51 p.m.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) on Friday night said that the state Supreme Court will decide on mask mandates that schools have implemented, following Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) unsuccessful efforts to overturn the public health measures.

In a tweet late Friday night, Paxton said that the legal battle over mask mandate has been taken to the state Supreme Court.

The next day, Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee said in a tweet that the state Supreme Court will decide the case “on an expedited basis.” Menefee filed an amicus brief with the court that opposes Abbott’s ban on mask mandates.

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Paxton’s announcement was issued on the heels of Abbott’s unsuccessful bids to overturn local mask mandates despite his statewide ban on the public measure.

According to the Texas Tribune, the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio on Friday afternoon rejected Abbott’s appeal to block a mask mandate in public schools by the local health authority in Bexar County, which a lower court ruling permitted.

The Tribune reported that minutes after the 4th Court of Appeals’ ruling on Friday, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas similarly upheld the mask mandate in schools, universities and businesses ordered by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins that Abbott attempted to challenge.

In the past week, Abbott and Paxton took aim at pro-masking local governments that defy the governor’s ban on mask mandates.

On Wednesday, Abbott and Paxton filed an appeal to strike down a court’s temporary restraining order in Dallas on the Texas governor’s mask requirement ban.

Abbott claimed the appeal aimed to “protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans” and that the solution is “personal responsibility — not government mandates.” Paxton painted the court’s ruling as a result of “attention-grabbing judges” and “activist characters.”

Paxton is currently under investigation by the Texas State Bar after he led the charge to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 election on former President Trump’s behalf.

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