The Texas Supreme Court connected Thursday temporarily blocked a disguise mandate issued by San Antonio and Bexar County for their nationalist schools -- a stroke to efforts by immoderate cities, counties, and schoolhouse districts to defy Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's prohibition connected specified measures.
The ruling came successful a suit by San Antonio and Bexar County, 1 of astatine slightest 9 that person been filed by cities, counties, and schoolhouse districts against Abbott implicit his prohibition connected disguise mandates.
Amid a surge successful COVID-19 cases that person overwhelmed galore hospitals crossed the state, astatine slightest 10 counties and cities and 63 schoolhouse districts oregon systems successful Texas person imposed disguise mandates to dilatory the dispersed of COVID-19.
The ruling by the Texas Supreme Court does not instantly interaction the suit filed successful Dallas County, wherever disguise mandates stay successful effect.
Abbott has argued that a instrumentality known arsenic the Texas Disaster Act gives him wide powerfulness successful deciding however champion to respond to exigency situations, including whether to prohibition disguise mandates during a pandemic.
In an exigency bid issued past month, Abbott reaffirmed his prohibition connected disguise mandates by immoderate state, county, oregon section authorities entity.
The counties, cities, and schoolhouse districts accidental Abbott has exceeded his authority. Dallas and Harris counties, 2 of the state's astir populous counties, are among those that person imposed disguise mandates.
Last week, a justice granted Bexar County and San Antonio a impermanent injunction that enactment Abbott's prohibition connected clasp pending proceedings successful that lawsuit. The Texas Attorney General's Office asked the authorities precocious tribunal to enactment the injunction. The Texas Supreme Court had antecedently stayed impermanent restraining orders issued successful favour of Bexar County, San Antonio, and Dallas County.
In its bid Thursday, the tribunal said oversight of decisions connected disguise mandates has been up to the governor, and "that presumption quo" should stay successful spot portion the courts analyse the issue.
"This case, and others similar it, are not astir whether radical should deterioration masks oregon whether the authorities should marque them bash it. Rather, these cases inquire courts to find which authorities officials person the ineligible authorization to determine what the government's presumption connected specified questions volition be," the tribunal said.
The tribunal has not yet made a last determination connected the ineligible issues surrounding disguise mandates.
"The Texas Supreme Court has sided with the law, and the determination to enforce disguise mandates lies with the governor's legislatively granted authority. Mask mandates crossed our authorities are illegal," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said successful a statement.
In a connection connected Facebook, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, "We're not going to fto an ongoing tribunal conflict distract america from the existent combat against COVID-19. Get the vax. Wear a mask."
Judges handling the lawsuits against Abbott person granted assorted impermanent restraining orders and impermanent injunctions that person allowed these disguise mandates to proceed portion the cases spell done the courts.
It was not instantly wide however those mandates would beryllium impacted by the precocious court's Thursday ruling.