A federal judge in El Paso on Friday extended her order blocking Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive to state troopers to pull over drivers transporting migrants “who pose a risk of carrying COVID-19.”
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone lengthened her restraining order by another two weeks after a hearing Friday, according to a court filing. Her original order on Aug. 3 was set to expire Friday.
In July, Abbott ordered state troopers to pull over civilian drivers giving rides to recent immigrants who may be infected with the virus and redirect the drivers to their origin point. If the driver didn’t comply, the troopers should seize their vehicles, the order said.
Soon after, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Texas and Abbott, describing the governor’s executive order as “dangerous and unlawful.”
In the lawsuit, the DOJ said Abbott’s order would disrupt federal immigration officials’ network of contractors and nongovernmental organizations that help host recently arrived migrants while their legal cases are pending.
See here and here for background on the suit filed by the Justice Department. There’s also now another lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of several groups; as far as I know there has not yet been a hearing for that. In keeping with my earlier posts, I don’t know how this is likely to play out, but as a rule any time Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton lose in court, it’s probably a good thing.