Updated Aug 11, 2021 - Health

Abbott threatens to take school districts that defy mask mandates ban to court

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the filing of a petition Wednesday to strike down an emergency order mandating masks in schools, businesses and county buildings in Dallas County.

Why it matters: Their statement threatens that "any school district, public university or local government official that decides to defy the order will be taken to court."

State of play: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins earlier Wednesday signed an emergency order that would apply to child care centers, preschool through 12th grade schools, businesses and Dallas County facilities.

  • Abbott and Paxton argue that Jenkins' actions violated Abbott's statewide ban on mask and vaccine mandates, which he claimed "supersedes local rules and regulations."

Worth noting: A Texas judge temporarily voided Abbott's ban on Tuesday night to prevent it from being enforced.

What they're saying: “The path forward relies on personal responsibility — not government mandates," Abbott said.

  • “Attention-grabbing judges and mayors have 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."

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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