Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) declared local authorities who undermine his order prohibiting mask mandates “will be taken to court.”
Abbot wrote in a tweet: “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,” he added.
Abbott’s tweet included statements from himself and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in response to an order mandating face masks for businesses and schools of Dallas County, which was signed by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins (D).
“Under Executive Order GA-38, no governmental entity can require or mandate the wearing of masks,” Abbott said in the statement. “The State of Texas will continue to vigorously fight the temporary restraining order to protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans.”
Paxton, serving as attorney general for Texas since 2015, also released a statement regarding Jenkin’s order, including him in the “activist characters” category.
“This isn’t the first time we have dealt with activist characters,” Paxton said. “It’s deja vu all over again. Attention-grabbing judges and mayors had 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,” he added.
The executive order signed by Jenkins took effect at midnight on Wednesday, requiring public schools, childcare centers, and businesses to develop and implement safety plans which include employees and visitors to use a mask.
According to Dallas’s local CBS affiliate, the “order allows any peace officer or person with lawful authority to enforce the order’s provisions,” and those who do not offer a safety plan within three days are subject to $1,000 fines for each violation.