Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) sued the city of Austin for maintaining a local order requiring the use of face masks after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) removed the statewide mask mandate .
The lawsuit has been filed against Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D), Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Mark Escott, the meAustin Internal Medical Director and Health Authority, CNN reported.
“I told Travis County and the City of Austin to comply with the state mask law. They blew my mind. So once again, I’ll take them to court,” Paxton tweeted.
Abbott Announced On March 2 it would lift the Texas mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions, though Austin officials noted this week that they would push to keep a mask mandate in the city.
The lawsuit filed Thursday states that inIndividual companies can decide whether they want customers to wear masks, but it states that Abbott’s executive order prohibits local governments from enforcing the mask mandates.
Paxton petitioned the court for a temporary restraining order so that Austin cannot enforce his mask order, according to CNN.
“The Attorney General’s office has filed a lawsuit against the City of Austin and Travis County. Travis County has not had to rely on compliance with its orders to hold our community accountable. Although the Commissioners Court’s order is valid, Travis County will not pursue any enforcement action on this order in deference to the Court, “Brown’s office said in a statement to CNN.
Paxton warned Adler on Wednesday that he would sue if the mandate of the mask was not lifted.
“The decision to require masks or to impose operational limits related to COVID-19 is expressly reserved for private companies in their own facilities. It does not rest with jurisdictions such as the city of Austin or Travis County or their local health authorities,” he said Paxton. .
However, Adler said after the threat that he will fight back if there is a lawsuit.
“Judge Brown and I will continue to do everything in our power, using all available tools to reduce the spread of the virus, to keep as many people alive as possible, to safely open schools to more learning in people and more business. We will fight Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton’s assault on doctors and data for as long as possible, “said Adler.
Brown, in a statement to The Hill, said the Texas attorney general was “failing” to make community health a priority.
“I will continue to listen to our public health authority, medical professionals and the CDC who have consistently said that masks save lives. It is unfortunate that the attorney general once again does not make the health of our community his priority, ”Brown said.
The Hill has contacted Paxton and Adler for further comment.
Updated 7:39 pm