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Appeals Court Sides With Dallas County After Gov. Abbott Challenges Mask Mandate

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A Texas appeals court has sided with Dallas County after Gov. Greg Abbott filed a petition to "strike down" Judge Clay Jenkins' mask mandate.

Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged the mask mandate after Jenkins signed an executive order on Wednesday. Jenkins said the continuing surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations led to his decision to require masks inside schools and businesses.

Abbott said the Dallas County mandate violated his executive order that banned mask mandates. Abbott and Paxton cited the Texas Disaster Act as reason for challenging the mandate, saying it "clearly states that the Governor has the power to guide the state through emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic."

However, the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas decided to deny the governor's petition, saying, in part: "In particular, applying the plain language of the Texas Disaster Act, we conclude Judge Jenkins demonstrated a probable right to relief that the Governor's power to suspend certain laws and rules under section 418.016(a) does not include the power to suspend the Act's grant of authority to mayors and county judges to declare local disasters under section 418.108."

"Today, the Court of Appeals ruled against @GovAbbott request for an emergency stay of Judge Tonya Parker's order earlier this week. We should all be together;Team Human v Virus. I'll keep following the doctor's advise and work with anyone to beat #COVID19," Jenkins tweeted.

A district court judge in Dallas County had also issued a temporary restraining order late Tuesday evening on Abbott's executive order.

Paxton tweeted late Friday evening that he will be taking the case to the Texas Supreme Court. "We have taken this mask mandate to the Texas Supreme Court. The rule of law will decide."

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