Harris County sues Abbott and issues a mask mandate

Quite the busy day yesterday.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Thursday issued a mandatory mask order for Harris County schools and daycares, joining the chorus of elected officials in the Texas’ larges cities in defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s order prohibiting local COVID-19 restrictions.

Hidalgo’s order requires students, teachers, staff and visitors to K-12 schools and daycare centers to wear face coverings. Schools also are required to notify parents when a student has close contact with someone who tests positive for the virus.

“There’s an unwritten contract between parents and their schools — and it’s that when our children are under the care of their schools, they do everything they can to keep them safe,” Hidalgo wrote in a letter to superintendents.

Houston ISD’s board of trustees already is expected to vote Thursday on a mask mandate proposed by Superintendent Millard House II. House announced he would bring such a proposal to the board last week.

Earlier on Thursday, County Attorney Christian Menefee filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting local authorities from issuing COVID-19 restrictions, such as mask and vaccine mandates.

Menefee told the Houston Chronicle Tuesday evening that he believes the July 29 order violates the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, which he said grants the governor the power limited authority to suspend laws.

“In his orders, he’ll suspend two to three laws specifically by name, and then he’ll say ‘any other laws that could allow a local official to do something inconsistent with what I’m doing,’” Menefee said. “That’s not how a democratic society works. You have separation of powers.”

Commissioners Court had previously authorized Menefee to file suit.

The move came at the end of a whirlwind day where local officials in Dallas and San Antonio prevailed — at least temporarily — in their own legal challenges to the governor’s order.

In Houston, the three Democrats on Commissioners Court voted to allow County Attorney Christian Menefee to bring his own case, over the objections of the two Republican members.

Menefee said he is undecided but leaning toward filing suit; he said the county would seek a temporary restraining order preventing the state from enforcing Abbott’s July 29 executive order prohibiting local governments from issuing local COVID-19 restrictions.

Abbott is exceeding his authority under the state Disaster Act of 1975, Menefee argued, which the county attorney said allows the governor to suspend laws in only narrow circumstances.

“What he’s doing is not helping in furtherance of coping with the disaster,” Menefee said. “Instead, he’s basically taking this power and turning it into a mechanism to tie local officials’ hands. The problem is none of the justifications he’s providing make any sense.”

See here for the background. Obviously, County Attorney Menefee made up his mind since then. Filing this suit, in the same manner as several other jurisdictions, was I think a straightforward choice. Winning it will be another matter.

If the past is any guide, the local governments are unlikely to prevail in court, said University of Texas School of Law Adjunct Professor Randall Erben. Governors have broad power under the Disaster Act, he said, noting that the state Supreme Court sided with Abbott when Travis County attempted to enact a New Year’s Eve curfew for restaurants.

“Given the precedent and given the broad discretion the governor has under that act, he’s probably on pretty solid ground,” Erben said.

The San Antonio Report consulted another expert with a similar opinion.

Political science and law experts agree that the local governments’ mask mandates have an unfavorable path forward, ending with the Texas Supreme Court; all nine justices are Republicans and have shown little appetite for ruling against the governor.


Despite the crisis, St. Mary’s University School of Law professor Michael Ariens believes the lawsuit’s ultimate success is a “long shot.”

Attorneys for the city and county relied on a dissenting opinion from a judge on the 8th Court of Appeals in a mask mandate case involving El Paso County, Ariens said: that Texas law does not allow the governor to suspend laws giving local governments the ability to respond to public health crises as they see fit.

“A decision by a dissenting [opinion] of the court, while sometimes correct,” Ariens said, “is not as helpful as a decision from a majority of the court.”

But getting the temporary restraining order granted in the first place puts San Antonio and Bexar County in a stronger position, he said, as it allowed the city to get a mask mandate in place in public schools and public facilities. That means “the ball is in the state government’s court,” he said, which will have to make a move “if it wants to change the status quo before Monday.”

A hearing is scheduled Monday morning; lawyers representing San Antonio, Bexar County, will ask to extend the temporary restraining order into a temporary injunction. If granted, the mask mandate would remain in place until trial or until the decision was appealed.


Abbott’s swift action to get a temporary restraining order lifted was expected, as the governor would not want to be seen as weak while school districts and local governments defy his executive order, said Jon Taylor, professor of political science and chair of the department of political science and geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. But no matter the ultimate outcome, Taylor said, Abbott’s political standing will likely remain unaffected.

“A week is a lifetime in politics and this can radically change, but if the governor wasn’t hurt by what happened with the electric grid and the winter storm in February — and for the most part, he seems to have not been hurt by it — it’s probably the same kind of calculations here when it comes to the masking order and mandatory versus voluntary vaccinations,” Taylor said.

Henry Flores, professor emeritus of political science at St. Mary’s University, had a slightly different take. He believes the collective force of school districts, county judges, and mayors could push the weather vane in the opposite direction.

“He’s playing a tough game with everybody, but if enough people stand up to him and cause enough of an uproar, he’ll back down, I think,” Flores said. “And that might be the safe investment for him to make. … It’ll become too much of a political annoyance for him, and it could end up costing him dearly. He’s going to have to weigh all that.”

If the case moves quickly, and the Texas Supreme Court vacates the temporary restraining order, “chaos” could ensue, Taylor said. Not only would the back-and-forth cause further confusion among parents of schoolchildren, but leaders of Bexar, Dallas, and Harris counties could simply refuse to stop requiring masks.

“This is not some sort of radical rebellion,” he said. “You’re talking about school districts that are following CDC guidelines on masking. The other thing is this: because there’s enough prosecutorial discretion that’s involved, it takes time — obviously justice takes time — and any sort of delay in court action could be months from now, long after, hopefully, the crisis and the spike in delta has passed. It could all be a moot point by then anyway.”

I would quibble with the assertion that Abbott took “swift” action – as you know, I’ve been marveling at how long it took him to respond. Be that as it may, the point about the counties just not moving to undo what they have ordered is an interesting point. Abbott may win in court, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get his way, at least not right away. And I’d bet none of those county judges suffer for any of it politically, either. We have a ways to go before this is truly settled.

UPDATE: The HISD Board approved the mask mandate that Superintendent House requested.

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20 Responses to Harris County sues Abbott and issues a mask mandate

  1. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    Re: Did Abbott take swift action? And does it matter?

    Well, Abbott got sued by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in the pending lawsuit filed by Commissioner Koch against Jenkins, which made a lot of sense because Koch was relying on Abbott’s GA-38 in his complaint against the County Judge.

    Jenkins promptly asked for a restraining order against Abbott, so of course the Attorney General showed up to defend the Governor at the hearing on the TRO. The Abbott-AG Alliance’s grand announcement about taking Jenkins and his ilk to court rings hollow considering that they were already in court and had lost the first round.

    But that’s not all: Paxton separately filed an intervention in the name of the State of Texas, including an application for a temporary restraining order against Jenkins, but there is no ruling on that motion. Instead, Judge Parker granted Jenkins’ application for a TRO against Abbott.
    What’s now in the appellate court in Dallas is a mandamus against the judge that signed the TRO against Abbott (Tonya Parker). See docket No. 05-21-00687-CV stykled In Re Greg Abbott, In His Official Capacity As Governor of The State of Texas.

    So, that limits the remedy on appeal to *vacating* the TRO, and first putting it on hold through a temporary stay, which Paxton has asked for in a separate motion under TRAP 52.10 (authorizing temporary orders). Neither action would dispose of the case in the trial court, nor of Jenkins’ pending request for a temporary injunction in the trial court. That’s because the mandamus petition only challenges a temporary order of the trial court, and doesn’t provide a basis for the higher court to reverse and render as would be the case in a regular appeal from a final trial court judgment.


    From a practical epidemiological standpoint the time dimension of the appellate process matters. Whether we are political scientists or legal scholars or mere Kuffians, we can all agree that Abbott’s Court will eventually rule like Abbott’s Court, but *when* will they get the chance to do so? That matters too.

    Even if the Dallas Court of Appeals were take its time to consider the weight issues, prompting Paxton to seek emergency relief in the SCOTX, the most likely initial ruling would be in the nature of a stay, not a resolution of the legal issues in the case on the merits. But it would be a stay of the TRO, not an order enjoining Jenkins, the real party in interest in the mandamus case. Of course, you never know, considering how the Judicial Republicans handled the AG’s and Hotze’s litigation against Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins last year.  


    Regardless, even if the SCOTX issues a merits opinion in the Dallas case, which focuses on statutory construction issues pertaining to the emergency powers of Governor vs. those of local emergency officials in the Texas Disaster Act, it wouldn’t resolve the question of whether the suspension-of-law provisions in the Disaster Act is unconstitutional under the separations-of-power article. That issue has been raised in the San Antonio challenge to Abbott’s GA-38 as a fall-back, i.e., as an alternative legal basis for invalidation, should the argument that Abbott exceeded his power under the Disaster Act fail. The latter is an ultra-vires argument on which there is substantial existing jurisprudence. The constitutional challenge is more novel. It was previously pressed by Hotze and Woodfill in unsuccessful challenges to Abbott’s own COVID-containment orders last year.  


    Claim A: The City and County jointly seek a declaratory judgment that the Governor’s suspension of laws allowing local governments to impose mask requirements is ultra vires and outside the scope of his authority under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.

    Claim B: In the alternative, the City and County seek a declaratory judgment that the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 Violates the Suspension Clause and the Separation of Powers Clause of the Texas Constitution

    See the pleading here: https://www.expressnews.com/file/876/9/8769-San%20Antonio's%20suit%20against%20Abbott.pdf

    The other difference between the two cases is that Jenkins was being sued for having already imposed and enforced a mask order (albeit only limited to the Commissioners Court in-person meeting at the time) while the local governments in San Antonio went to court as plaintiffs complaining that GA-38 prevented them from imposing mitigation measures attested to as necessary by their local Public Health Authority. See attached affidavits by Medical Doctor/Health Authority, SA City Manager, and Bexar County Judge.

    The difference in the fact constellation at the inception of the suit could have a bearing on the analysis of what the status quo was, for purposes of applying the legal standards governing TROs and temporary injunctions, and the abuse-of-discretion analysis by a higher court.
    Another possibly relevant distinction is that between homerule cities and county judges. Paxton argues that county judges are subservient to the Governor because counties are mere subdivisions of the state; but are home-rule cities? 
    The question of the authority of cities and mayor is not at issue in the Dallas case because neither is a party. Only Judge Jenkins is.

    The Abbott-AG Alliance argues that a County Judge is merely an agent of the Governor as principal, and that the principal gets to tell the agent what to do, and what not. But a county judge is locally elected and cannot be fired by the Governor. So there the analogy fails. And the relevant statute would trump any common-law rule to the contrary in any event.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    ¡Bienvenidos a América, extranjeros ilegales infectados!


    “A city of Laredo spokesperson told KXAN that Laredo is spending around $8,000 a day to send migrants on charter buses to other large cities. The spokesperson said the city is doing so because hospitals are at capacity in Laredo in the midst of the COVID-19 surge. Laredo is a southern Texas city on the Mexican border.

    According to Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, about 16% of migrants coming into Laredo were testing positive for COVID-19, and the city no longer has room to isolate them or give them hospital beds. Therefore, Laredo is no longer testing migrants coming across the border for COVID-19, but rather only providing them with masks and sending them to other cities.

    “These migrants aren’t being tested. Border Patrol doesn’t test them. We, much less, don’t have the infrastructure of testing and quarantining,” Saenz told KXAN’s Border Report bureau. “When you test, then if they’re positive, then there’s an obligation there or duty to quarantine, and that’s expensive.”

    Laredo officials said many of the people being bused out of Laredo have plans to travel somewhere else. City leaders in both Laredo and Austin expect most will quickly head to their final destinations after arriving in Austin. However, both cities acknowledged that some may not have anywhere to go, and may stay in Austin.

    HSEM said the city of Austin is not testing anyone who stays.”

    So let’s recap. No one stopped these sin papeles people with no right to be here, or to travel freely here. Too many kept testing positive for Covid, so we stopped even testing them, and we just put them on buses to other cities.

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    I’ve been seeing where there are over 2,000 cases of RSV per week. That might explain all of the kids in the hospital now. It is surging. Probably because kids all stayed at home from school last year and didn’t get it. Then they started going out this spring and summer, causing the surge in RSV. Some of them probably testing positive for COVID. Driving up “cases” and terror in the news. Just thinking.

  4. policywonqueria says:


    Mr Daniels: What does your news story have to do with Harris County suing Governor Abbott on the legal validity of the mask mandate ban? – Nongermane.

    Nevertheless, to the extent there is a nexus, how would requiring masks of all people – con papeles/sin papels – not be beneficial from a public health perspectivce? Not to mention requiring migrants to submit to vaccination unless medically counterindicated or age-ineligible under current regulations?


    And while we are on the topic of papeles, what about the proof-of-vaccination that the moron-majority in the Texas Lege recently outlawed, with the result that TABC is now threatening to yank licenses from bars that *require* proof of vaccination as a risk-reduction/infrection-control measure (and as a precaution for its own employees and continued ability to operate), rather than those that *fail to do so*.

    It’s perversity in pandemic policy run amock.

    For sane policymaking and mode of implementation, see here:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-57665765 (EU vax passports)

    Meanwhile in the Lost-Marbles State, two-step policymaking proceeds like this:

    Step 1: Let’s see what the public health community recommends
    Step 2: Let’s make sure we do the opposite

    Texas Two-Step Iteration:

    Step 1: Let’s see what the Democrats are doing, or wanna do.
    Step 2: Let’s issue an order prohibiting them from doing it, and punish them if they insist.

    Texas Two-Step Supreme:

    Problem presented: Trial court judge heard evidence of rampant Delta surge and enjoined Abbott’s mask mandate ban.

    Problem solved: We conclude that trial court erred in considering evidence of virus spread. As a matter of law, GA-38 is good. Governor Abbott would suffer sovereign injury it we were to hold otherwise.

    Disclaimer: Here at policywonqueria we are sachorientierte fact-minders and engage in name-calling only sparingly. Extraordinary lunacy in observed policymaking, however, warrants occasional exceptions.

  5. C.L. says:

    ROSE: At the same time, it is true that migrants are crossing the southern border in unusually high numbers, especially in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. And a growing number of them do have COVID. That’s according to Dr. Ivan Melendez, the health authority in Hidalgo County, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley.


    IVAN MELENDEZ: We’re mirroring exactly what’s going on in the rest of the country and most of the world.

    ROSE: At a press conference last week, Melendez said there is a risk of unvaccinated migrants spreading the virus. But he emphasized that they pose no more or less of a risk than anyone else who is unvaccinated.


    MELENDEZ: The positivity rate in the migrants that are coming in are almost exactly as the positivity rate is here. Is this the pandemic of the migrants? No. It’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

    NATALIA MOLINA: As infection rates go up, as death rates go up, the scapegoating will go up.

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week accused Biden of “helping to facilitate” the spread of the coronavirus. Fox News host Sean Hannity referred to migrants causing “the biggest super-spreader event” and incorrectly asserted that none was being tested.

    But public health experts say arriving migrants are not driving the rising infections in the U.S. The main culprits are people who refuse to get vaccinated. Furthermore, migrants who are allowed to enter are generally tested for COVID-19 and given hotel rooms to quarantine if they test positive, though federal authorities have not made data available about such cases.


    At a news conference last week, Dr. Ivan Melendez, who serves as the local health authority in Hidalgo County, Texas, acknowledged that arriving migrants were “part of the problem” but he also said they did not pose any more of a danger than he does. “I have been in seven COVID units today.”

    He said migrants are not responsible for introducing the virus nor do they have higher infection rates compared with the general population.

    “Is it a pandemic of the migrants? No, it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Melendez said.

    The number of arriving migrants is far too small to be driving the enormous increases in cases across the U.S., said Dr. Joseph McCormick, a physician and former CDC epidemiologist now based at the Brownsville campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center at the Houston School of Public Health.

    “Given what we are seeing now across the country, it just doesn’t work to try to attribute that to migrants,” McCormick said. Furthermore, experts say, the delta variant, which was first identified in India, began circulating in the U.S. before it was in Mexico or other parts of Latin America, where most migrants arrive from.

    “So the claim that migrants entering from the southern border brought delta to the U.S. is baseless rhetoric,” said Max Hadler, senior policy director for Physicians for Human Rights, in a statement. “Rates are increasing everywhere, in every state in the country. It’s not a border issue or a migrant issue, it’s a national issue.”

    As for people who evade the Border Patrol and enter the United States undetected, there is no reason to suspect that they would have higher rates of COVID-19 infection, McCormick said.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    policywonq, the point that Mr Daniels makes is a valid one. The putrid leadership of the county wants to put up a virtue signal, and a fear mongering reminder (literally right in your face, a reminder to be afraid of getting a bad cold). Meanwhile, if they were serious about the threat of Covid, they would be concerned about the infiltration of cases and variants at the border, and they would be praising Abbott for his efforts to increase border security. That’s how it is germane.

  7. Bill Daniels says:


    While we’re discussing the county, consider that all this is interrelated, including, school districts, where we have some pretty specific law already codified:

    Sec. 37.0023. PROHIBITED AVERSIVE TECHNIQUES. (a) In this section, “aversive technique” means a technique or intervention that is intended to reduce the likelihood of a behavior reoccurring by intentionally inflicting on a student significant physical or emotional discomfort or pain. The term includes a technique or intervention that:

    (1) is designed to or likely to cause physical pain, other than an intervention or technique permitted under Section 37.0011;

    (2) notwithstanding Section 37.0011, is designed to or likely to cause physical pain through the use of electric shock or any procedure that involves the use of pressure points or joint locks;

    (3) involves the directed release of a noxious, toxic, or otherwise unpleasant spray, mist, or substance near the student’s face;

    (4) denies adequate sleep, air, food, water, shelter, bedding, physical comfort, supervision, or access to a restroom facility;

    (5) ridicules or demeans the student in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning or mental health of the student or constitutes verbal abuse;

    (6) employs a device, material, or object that simultaneously immobilizes all four extremities, including any procedure that results in such immobilization known as prone or supine floor restraint;

    (7) impairs the student’s breathing, including any procedure that involves:

    (A) applying pressure to the student’s torso or neck; or

    (B) obstructing the student’s airway, including placing an object in, on, or over the student’s mouth or nose or placing a bag, cover, or mask over the student’s face;

    Let’s repeat that last part:


    (B) obstructing the student’s airway, including placing an object in, on, or over the student’s mouth or nose or placing a bag, cover, or mask over the student’s face;


    If it’s illegal to do punish children in this manner, it begs the question…..why is it OK to punish adults like this?

  8. C.L. says:

    I’m more concerned with the variants in/around Beall Street.

  9. C.L. says:

    I used to laugh when the GOP used to call out being ‘triggered’ and call the leftist’s ‘snowflakes’. What’s the year(s)old adage at this point ? “If you dislike wearing a mask, you’re really gonna hate being on a ventilator.”

    I’ve yet to hear anyone claim they couldn’t breath with a $00.99 for a box of five Walgreens mask on, but I’ve heard a whole lot of ‘Murica, Murica, you’re stealing my liberties from me and mah kin’.


  10. Kibitzer Curiae says:


    Why can’t Harris County Attorney not be bothered to put his petition in Harris County v. Abbott on his website? Or arrange for distribution and posting of the filing on some other website? Is that too much to expect?

    Jumping on the bandwagon with big fanfare, but all that’s floating out is a press release, and that’s not even on his website either (as of 3pm 8/13/2021).

    See what you can find: https://cao.harriscountytx.gov/Newsroom

    If Paxton can post his work-product on his official website, why not Harris County’s chief lawyer?

    Turns out that Harris County sued not just Greg Abbott but Ken Paxton too.
    Would be nice if there were more transparency about what’s going on with this litigation department. Lina’s twitter, which is normally a great resource for information about goings-on in Harris County, has nothing either.

    And whould would be wrong with giving the public notice of the Zoom hearing on the TRO sought against Abbott, so interested members of the public and the media could watch (what with recording being prohibited for no good reason). More than 400 were online for the TRO hearing in Dallas, and their pleadings is available on their website.

    The Cause Number for Harris County v. Abbott is D-1-GN-21-003896, and the assigned court is the 345th. Unlike Fort Bend and Bexar, Menefee chose to sue in Travis County, for reasons not explained. The drawback for the public is that Travis County maintains a paywall on filed court documents.

    A hearing on the TRO may have taken place already. Who knows?

  11. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    JUST IN: Harris County wins court order blocking Abbott’s ban on COVID-19 restrictions

    Zach Despart

    Staff writer
    Aug. 13, 2021
    Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 4:24 p.m.


  12. Jason Hochman says:

    C.L. Not snowflakes at all. Joe Biden’s boss, Mrs. Harris, even remembers what was most important to her when she was a kid and racists like Joe Biden tried to stop her school bus: “Fwee Dum.” Let’s just give our government all kinds of powers and see how it turns out.

  13. Jason Hochman says:

    PS: I am wearing my mask because the vaccines don’t work, and I and other doctors are recommending that you wear yours.

  14. policywonqueria says:

    Jason: The Texas Medical Board doesn’t appear to have any “Jason Hochman” in the database. Closest match is JOEL FREDERICK SIMON HOCHMAN, MD, but he is shown as deceased.

    Are you a “Dr.” Seuss kiddie-delight sort-a doctor, or some other variety, like a Dr. Phil?

  15. Jason Hochman says:

    C.L. always addresses me as “Dr.”

  16. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    First appellate disposition in …



    No. 04-21-00336-CV
    In re Greg ABBOTT, in his official capacity as Governor of The State of Texas
    Original Proceeding

    Sitting: Luz Elena Chapa, Justice
    Irene Rios, Justice
    Beth Watkins, Justice
    Delivered and Filed: August 13, 2021


    On August 12, 2021, relator Greg Abbott, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Texas, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus and an emergency motion for temporary relief challenging a temporary restraining order signed by the trial court on August 10, 2021. After considering the petition and the motion, this court concludes relator is not entitled to the relief sought. Accordingly, the petition and the motion are denied. See TEX. R. APP. P. 52.8(a).


    This proceeding arises out of Cause No. 2021CI16133, styled City of San Antonio and Bexar County v. Greg Abbott, in his official capacity as Governor of Texas, pending in the 45th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas, the Honorable Antonia Arteaga presiding.


  17. Bill Daniels says:


    About those Austin bars…..you neglected to tell [Paul Harvey] the REST of the story [Paul Harvey].

    Turns out that those bars, when threatened with the revocation of their TABC licenses, chose to abandon their demand for papiere, bitte! If they really cared about safety, they would have gone ahead and demanded those papers anyway and let TABC take their license.

    Wow, turns out that even for the virtue signaling Austin set, profits > safety. Who would have ever imagined that?

    Good day!

  18. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    DENIED and Opinion Filed August 13, 2021

    In The
    Court of Appeals
    Fifth District of Texas at Dallas
    No. 05-21-00687-CV


    Original Proceeding from the 116th Judicial District Court
    Dallas County, Texas
    Trial Court Cause No. DC-21-10101


    Before Justices Osborne, Pedersen, III, and Goldstein
    Opinion by Justice Goldstein

    Relator Governor Greg Abbott’s August 11, 2021 petition for writ of mandamus challenges the trial court’s temporary restraining order enjoining certain portions of Executive Order GA-38.

    Entitlement to mandamus relief requires relator to show that the trial court clearly abused its discretion and that he lacks an adequate appellate remedy. In re Prudential Ins. Co., 148 S.W.3d 124, 135–36 (Tex. 2004) (orig. proceeding).

    Based on our review of the petition, real party in interest’s response, relator’s
    reply, and the record before us, we conclude that relator has failed to show his
    entitlement to the relief requested. In doing so, we found the reasoning in the
    dissenting opinion of State v. El Paso County, 618 S.W.3d 812 (Tex. App.—El Paso
    2020, no pet.), persuasive.

    In particular, applying the plain language of the Texas Disaster Act, we conclude Judge Jenkins demonstrated a probable right to relief that the Governor’s power to suspend certain laws and rules under section 418.016(a) does not include the power to suspend the Act’s grant of authority to mayors and county judges to declare and manage local disasters under section 418.108. See TEX. GOV’T CODE §§ 418.001–.261. Accordingly, we deny the petition for writ of mandamus. Having denied the petition, we also deny relator’s emergency motion for temporary relief as moot.

    /s/ Bonnie Lee Goldstein

    COMMENT: At least a little bit of rationale for the holding. The 4th COA disposition was quite a disappointment.

    You can read the State v. El Paso opinion, including the referenced dissent by Justice Yvonn Rodriguez, here:


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  20. Manny says:

    The racist party, aka Republican Party, has their trolls out pushing dumber and dumber conspiracies.

    We need a reality show, where those unvaccinated lie in their hospital beds with tubes down their throats. Constants will guess who will die first and leave the hospital first.

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