NEWS & ANALYSIS

Texas Supreme Court Strikes Down San Antonio School District Mask Mandate


The Texas Supreme Court sided with Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton Thursday in striking down the San Antonio school district’s mask mandate. 

The governor and attorney general requested the court reverse an appeals court ruling that upheld the decision to allow San Antonio ISD, the city and Bexar County to require masks. 

Paxton argued the mask mandates, in defiance of the governor’s order banning them, create irreparable harm, “as it is enabling numerous municipalities to issue different responses to the disaster.” 

“The Governor lacks an adequate remedy by appeal,” he added. “Every moment that the temporary injunction remains in effect, localities will continue to flout GA-38.” 

In response to the ruling, Paxton said it “has sided with the law, and the decision to enforce mask mandates lies with the governor’s legislatively-granted authority. Mask mandates across our state are illegal, and judges must abide by the law. Further non-compliance will result in more lawsuits.” 

As reported by Just the News, the Texas Supreme Court ruled: “As we previously held in staying the trial court’s temporary restraining order in the underlying case, the court of appeals’ order alters the status quo preceding this controversy, and its effect is therefore stayed pending that court’s decision on the merits of appeal.” 

“This case, and others like it, are not about whether people should wear masks or whether the government should make them do it,” it continued. “Rather, these cases ask courts to determine which government officials have legal authority to decide what the government’s position on such questions will be. The status quo, for many months, has been gubernatorial oversight of such decisions at both the state and local levels. That status quo should remain in place while the court of appeals, and potentially this Court, examine the parties’ merits arguments to determine whether plaintiffs have demonstrated a probable right to the relief sought.”