As the confusing fight over mask and vaccine mandates unfolds across Texas, the state’s top law enforcer is now trying to stop San Antonio Independent School District officials from forcing their employees to get injected with non-FDA-approved coronavirus vaccinations.
On Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he’s “filed a complaint asking for a temporary restraining order against San Antonio ISD after it refused to follow [Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order.] [The order] prohibits governmental entities and officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations. It has the force and effect of state law and preempts local rules and regulations.”
At issue is the events of the past few weeks, where local officials across Texas have started disregarding Abbott’s July executive order and imposing their own local mask—and now vaccine—requirements. The actions sparked an ongoing feud involving district judges and even the Texas Supreme Court, who, after temporarily upholding the Governor’s order earlier this week, most recently is now temporarily allowing local officials to decree their own mask commands because of a legal technicality.
The saga also traces back even further to last year, when Abbott issued executive orders closing businesses and imposing mask mandates in response to the Chinese coronavirus. The fight over executive and local orders has left Texans confused at whose mandates have authority, while the state legislature has also thus far declined to pass any state law clarifying the mask and vaccine mandate issue.
AG Paxton argues San Antonio officials are still out of line.
“San Antonio ISD and Superintendent Pedro Martinez are deliberately violating state law,” the lawsuit reads. “In flouting [Abbott’s executive order] ban on vaccination mandates, Defendants challenge the policy choices made by the State’s commander in chief during times of disaster.”
“[The school district’s] letter to San Antonio ISD employees suggests that employment is contingent upon these employee’s vaccination status starting Oct. 15, 2021 (but requiring action by Sep. 10, 2021). Such enforcement is an ongoing unlawful act that can be redressed by prospective injunctive relief.”
“The Texas Legislature gave the Governor the authority to create and enforce executive orders during a statewide emergency – not a hodgepodge of county judges, city mayors or superintendents,” Paxton concluded his press release. “If other governmental entities continue to blatantly disregard state law, I will sue every single one of them.