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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.

Go deeper

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

Pope Francis calls on companies to release COVID vaccine patents

Pope Francis. Photo: Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pope Francis called on pharmaceutical companies on Saturday to release patents to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to the poor, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: There is a stark divide between countries that have access to COVID-19 shots and those that don't, and the gap has widened as some wealthier countries have begun distributing third doses.

Oct 15, 2021 - Sports

Texas House passes bill targeting trans youth in sports

LGBTQ rights supporters gather at the Texas state capitol to protest state Republican-led efforts to pass legislation that would restrict the participation of trans student athletes. Photo: Tamir Kalifa via Getty Images

The Texas House voted 76-54 Thursday to pass legislation that would require public school students to play on sports teams based on their assigned sex at birth, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The bill, which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is poised to sign into law, would make Texas one of nine states that passed laws targeting tans youth this year.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.