EL PASO, Texas — A judge Thursday afternoon granted the City of El Paso’s request for a temporary injunction, blocking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order forbidding mask mandates.
County Court at Law Judge Ruben Morales’ ruling allows El Paso City/County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza to institute mask rules.
The judge cited the current threat posed by Covid-19 in El Paso in issuing his decision, and he noted that Abbott himself has acknowledged face masks are effective to help halt the virus’ spread.
Last month, Morales had signed a temporary restraining order after determining that Abbott exceeded his authority under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.
Thursday’s granting of an injunction, a more permanent measure than a restraining order, comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the city against Abbott. The judge set a trial date of Oct. 7.
Morales indicated he believed there’s a strong likelihood the city would prevail on the merits of the case at trial and he dismissed a claim by Abbott that the court lacked jurisdiction to decide the matter.
The state Attorney General’s Office, which represents the governor, said it will appeal Morales’ injunction ruling.
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