Texas Supreme Court Shuts Down Cities Trying to Force Masks, Upholds Ban on Mandates


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was handed a win on Sunday when the state Supreme Court upheld his order banning mask mandates.

The ruling by the Texas Supreme Court blocked rulings by lower courts that allowed two cities to impose mask mandates, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

District court judges had issued temporary restraining orders hindering the enactment of Abbott’s executive order on July 29 prohibiting local officials from imposing indoor mask mandates.

Specifically, the lower court orders allowed for San Antonio and Dallas to defy the governor’s order and enact mask mandates, the outlet reported. The ruling Sunday nullified the restraining orders of the lower courts.

This certainly is a win for freedom. The Texas Supreme Court has shown what it is like to have a court system that upholds the law. This isn’t always the case with many of today’s activist judges.

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It should be noted that people might not be so averse to mask mandates now if their implementation had not exceeded the “two weeks to flatten the curve” in the spring of 2020, but that ship has long sailed.

Still, not everybody views mask mandates in the same way. The American-Statesman reported that many Texas jurisdictions have instituted their own mandates in spite of Abbott’s order.

Because children under the age of 12 are still unable to get the COVID-19 vaccines, many of the mandates that have been instituted have focused on schools.

The Democratic mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, last week instituted his own order requiring people to cover their faces in all government buildings and public schools.

Adler claimed Sunday on Twitter that his order was still valid as the Texas Supreme Court ruling did not specifically deal with school mask mandates or the city of Austin.

Adler also urged parents to continue fighting for mask mandates in schools.

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While the Texas Supreme Court ruling upheld the governor’s order with regard to specific locales, an Austin district judge issued his own set of temporary restraining orders on Sunday, according to the American-Statesman. These orders allowed any Texas school district to impose mask mandates, the outlet reported.

Contradicting what Adler wrote on Twitter, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote on the site that Sunday’s ruling makes it clear that local mask mandates are illegal.

Abbott has said he believes Texans should make health decisions for themselves rather than the government deciding for them. He reiterated Sunday on Twitter that his ban on mask mandates does not prevent anybody from wearing masks.

When it comes to mask mandates, the two main viewpoints on the issue ultimately reflect one of the biggest — if not the biggest — ideological differences between America’s two major political parties. Should Americans be free to make their own choices and live their lives as they see fit, or should the government make those decisions for them?

When you pull away the deceptive layers of how this issue is spun, that is ultimately what this boils down to.

Admittedly, this may be a tricky area for some conservatives. When it comes to what level of government should have more control, people on the right side of the political aisle will tend to side with whichever government entity is smaller. State rights over federal rights. Local rights over state rights.

The actions of government at the local level often have more of a direct impact on citizens than at the state or federal level. Local government often can be more effective than other levels of government as well.

Should governors have the authority to prohibit local governments from implementing mask mandates?

In this instance, there may be an urge to support the local government over the state government. But when it comes to the fundamental rights of citizens versus a freedom-restricting mandate from the local government, at the end of the day, the local government is still the government.

The debate surrounding whether the citizenry should be free to make decisions for themselves and their children is still a major difference between the Democratic and Republican parties.

One can see that the left believes that it is the government’s responsibility to think, decide and act for us. The right believes that people are smart enough — and should be free enough — to make these decisions for themselves. One comes from a place of elitist arrogance in lust of power, while the other comes from a place of earnest relatability and a desire to extend liberty.

Sunday’s decision from the Texas Supreme Court should be lauded for upholding the rule of law and preserving individual liberty. Let’s just hope that the court continues to rule this way.

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Jacob Gurney was a Western Journal contributor who started his writing career at his local daily newspaper. He has also written for various online media websites covering politics, sports and video games.
Jacob Gurney was a Western Journal contributor who started his writing career at his local daily newspaper. He has also written for various online media websites covering politics, sports and video games.