Texas A.G. Ken Paxton Threatens To Sue City Of Austin If It Doesn’t Lift Mask Mandate
On Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would sue the city of Austin if they refused to lift its mask mandate.
After Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate on Wednesday, Texas became the largest state that does not require masks. Abbott also lifted other Covid-19 safety protocols, such as capacity restrictions for bars and restaurants.
However, Austin-Travis County authorities announced on Tuesday that their local mask mandate would remain until April 15 to “avoid another surge of cases.” The county has had a mask mandate on business premises since July, fining people who did not follow.
According to Austin’s mandate, people who are “outside of their residence” and people over the age of 6 who are on or in city property must wear masks. Paxton said that he would take legal action if the country did not lift the mask mandates.
“You and your local health authorities have until 6:00 p.m. today to rescind any local mask mandates or business-operating restrictions, retract any related public statements, and come into full compliance with” the executive order, Paxton said in a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andry Brown.
“Otherwise, on behalf of the State of Texas, I will sue you,” he added.
Paxton also argued that Austin and Travis County did not have the authority to threaten noncompliance fines because they are not a business.
Adler responded hours later, saying Abbott and Paxton were “simply wrong” and accused them of an “assault against doctors and data.”
— Mayor Adler | 😷wear a mask. (@MayorAdler) March 9, 2021