In another blow to the authoritarian COVID-19-related edicts that have gripped parts of the country for far too long, the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday issued an order striking down a mask mandate for San Antonio area schools, siding with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, as the Washington Examiner reports.
Earlier this year, Abbott issued an executive order banning the imposition of school mask mandates in the Lone Star State, a move that has been met with a series of legal challenges that have thus far been unsuccessful, as The Hill noted.
Declaring the ban on mask mandates to be enforceable, the court pointed out that “the status quo, for many months, has been gubernatorial oversight of such decisions at both the state and local levels.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton heralded the ruling after it was issued, declaring in a statement, “The Texas Supreme Court has sided with the law, and the decision to enforce mask mandates lies with the governor’s legislatively-granted authority.”
In the wake of the high court’s decision, Paxton also took to Twitter to again remind everyone in his state that public schools are prohibited from issuing mask mandates for students, and he urged the reporting of any instances in which administrations attempted to do so.
To all Texans: PUBLIC SCHOOLS CANNOT MANDATE MASKS. Period.
Both the Gov’s Exec Order and SCOTX are clear on this.
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) August 26, 2021
It is worth noting that while Abbott and Paxton have encouraged Texans to wear masks in order to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus, they have emphasized that doing so should remain up to the discretion of individuals and not be something compelled by the state.
Last week’s ruling was the latest in a series of losses for those advocating for compulsory masking of Texas schoolchildren, with Bexar and Dallas counties recently failing in their bids to overturn Abbott’s order, as the Examiner further reported.
Never content to accept legislative or judicial outcomes they don’t like, those bent on forcing masks on children, often against the will of their parents, such as the leaders of the Paris Independent School District, have implemented frustrating end-runs around the rulings in Abbott’s favor, by instead making face coverings mandatory under its dress code.