Judge sides with Austin in Texas mask lawsuit

A Texas judge has sided with the city of Austin in Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R) lawsuit over the city's mask mandate.

Judge Lora Livingston on Friday declined to grant the state a temporary injunction, according to NBC affiliate KXAN.

The ruling keeps the mandate in place for at least two more weeks and another hearing is set for March 26, KXAN reports. Livingston could change her ruling after hearing more arguments.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler praised the ruling on Twitter, saying “good news! We learned this morning that Austin's mask rules will remain in effect for the next two weeks. We return to court March 26.”

“No matter what happens then, we will continue to be guided by doctors and data. Masking works,” he tweeted.

Travis County Judge Andy Brown also shared the ruling on Twitter.

“After today’s court hearing, the requirement to wear masks in Travis County and Austin businesses remains in effect,” Brown tweeted. “Thank you to our County Attorney [Delia Garcia] and team for fighting to keep our community safe.”

Paxton filed suit against Adler, Brown and Austin’s interim Medical Director and Health Authority Mark Escott on Thursday over the city’s decision to keep its local mask mandate in place after the statewide restrictions were lifted.

The attorney general threatened Adler with a lawsuit on Wednesday if the mask mandate wasn’t removed, hours after saying his office was looking into “every avenue available” to stop the mandate.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R) announced on March 2 that he was lifting the statewide mask mandate, and his order took effect on Wednesday. The order restricted the power to impose restrictions to county judges only if cases in their jurisdictions rise for one straight week.

The city of Austin, however, has decided to mandate masks be worn inside of Travis County businesses.

High Plains Pundit has reached out to Adler’s and Paxton’s offices for comment.

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