Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Threatens to Sue Schools, Officials Who Break Ban on Mask Mandates

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has threatened to sue schools or any other officials who voluntarily break the mask mandate ban that he set forth in late July.

On Wednesday, Abbott took to Twitter and stated that, "Any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy GA-38—which prohibits gov't entities from mandating masks—will be taken to court."

In late July, Abbott signed Executive Order GA-38 preventing local governments and state agencies from mandating masks and vaccinations.

"No governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a Covid-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization," the order said. "It also prohibits any public agencies or private entities receiving public funds, including grants and loans, from requiring consumers to show documentation of vaccinations before entering or receiving a service from the entity."

On Wednesday, Abbott, along with his attorney, General Ken Paxton filed a petition in the 5th Court of Appeals in defense of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins' recent restraining order against the executive order.

Abbott stated in a press release that the judge's order violates his executive order and state law.

"Under Executive Order GA-38, no governmental entity can require or mandate the wearing of masks," said Abbott. "The path forward relies on personal responsibility—not government mandates. The State of Texas will continue to vigorously fight the temporary restraining order to protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the governor's state-wide mask mandate ban. Brandon Bell/Getty

Paxton also spoke about the restraining order in the release.

"This isn't the first time we have dealt with activist characters. It's deja vu all over again," Paxton 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," Paxton concluded.

On Wednesday, Jenkins won against Abbott in the ruling. District Court Judge Tonya Parker, who presided over the case said that "immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result," if Jenkins cannot enforce COVID-19 measures.

Parker also stated that Jenkins' role as county judge means that he leads the government of Texas regarding safety measures for all citizens "who have and will continue to be damaged by Governor Abbott's conduct, including, but not limited to his executive order." The restraining order expires on August 24.

As of Wednesday, Dallas County has reported that there are 1,350 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths.