Texas Supreme Court Leaves Schools’ Mask Mandates in Place
(Bloomberg) -- The Texas Supreme Court gave local school officials temporary permission to require students to wear masks, rejecting Governor Greg Abbott’s bid to suspend the mandates.
The all-Republican court denied the governor’s request in a one-sentence order posted to the court’s website late Thursday.
The Texas state court system was swamped by a flurry of litigation between the governor and defiant county, city and school district officials over universal masking rules. Local officials imposed the requirements to try to tamp down the resurgence of Covid-19, while the governor said wearing masks should be a matter of personal responsibility, not a government mandate.
Abbott announced on Tuesday that he tested positive for the virus despite having been vaccinated. He said he’s isolating in the governor’s mansion and receiving monoclonal antibody treatment.
The state’s high court has yet to address the underlying issue of whether the governor has the right to supersede local health ordinances during a disaster, or if local officials have the ultimate authority under state law to issue more protective measures during an emergency.
Litigation is active in nearly a dozen separate courts across Texas, as well as in federal court in Austin over the mask debate.
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