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Tags: Coronavirus | texas | mask mandates | san antonio | abbott

Texas Supreme Court Sides With Abbott, Blocks San Antonio School Mask Mandate

girl sits at school desk wearing mask
(CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 26 August 2021 01:19 PM

The Texas Supreme Court Thursday temporarily blocked San Antonio's mask mandate for public schools. The court decision, affecting Bexar County which includes San Antonio, is the most recent twist in the legal tug-of-war between local governments and the state’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over mandatory face coverings.

Following the Thursday ruling, the Texas Attorney General’s Twitter account tweeted, "A WIN!!! SCOTX has ruled on our side. It has been decided that the mask mandates non-compliant governmental entities have implemented are illegal. Judges must abide by this decision, which upholds @GovAbbott's executive order!"

The court ruling Thursday follows a different ruling issued Wednesday by a state district judge in Dallas. That judge sided with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in allowing for mask mandates in public schools, colleges, and business in direct defiance of a previous order by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Soon after the ruling in Dallas County, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed the ruling — temporarily making the mask mandate unenforceable.

While this was unfolding, Gov. Abbott signed an executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates regardless of a drug's approval status with the Food and Drug Administration.

Abbott's order came two days after the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The Texas Governor's previous order prohibited mandates, but only for vaccines under emergency authorization,

According to KENS5, Gov. Abbott wants to work with lawmakers to craft a vaccine mandate law to prevent "patchwork" policymaking. "It is appropriate to maintain the status quo of prohibiting vaccine mandates through executive order while allowing the legislature to consider this issue while in session," Abbott wrote earlier this week. 

KENS5 also reported lawmakers likely do not have enough time to pass mandate-related legislation. The outlet cited Rice University political science professor Mark Jones, who pointed out there are just 11 days left in the current special session. Since many Democrats spent the first two weeks of session in Washington, D.C., the legislature is now only beginning to whittle down the many items on its agenda, Jones pointed out.

"If it gets passed, it'll get passed in the way (Abbott) wants to see it passed," he said. "If it doesn't get passed, then his executive order will hold." 

Either way, a ban on vaccine mandates in publicly-funded workplaces is all but guaranteed, he says. 

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The Texas Supreme Court Thursday temporarily blocked San Antonio's mask mandate for public schools. The court decision, affecting Bexar County which includes San Antonio, is the most recent...
texas, mask mandates, san antonio, abbott
409
2021-19-26
Thursday, 26 August 2021 01:19 PM
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