The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Austin, December 31 – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton yesterday filed a petition for temporary injunction and temporary restraining order in Travis County District Court to halt enforcement of Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s and Travis County Judge Andy Brown’s orders, which impose a four-day shutdown of dine-in food and beverage services from 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., December 31 through January 3. The city and county orders violate Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order Number GA-32.
Relief in this suit would provide swift and much-needed victory for the people and businesses of Travis County and would also represent an important symbolic victory for all Texans.
“Mayor Adler and Judge Brown do not have the authority to flout Gov. Abbott’s executive orders by shutting down businesses in Travis County and our state’s capital city,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The fact that these two local leaders released their orders at night and on the eve of a major holiday shows how much contempt they have for Texans and local businesses. They think breaking the law is a game of running the clock before anyone can do anything about it. Texas is a law-and-order state, and these are lives and livelihoods that are at stake. I’ll continue to defend them against the arbitrariness of the mayor and county judge.”
Paxton noted in his lawsuit that “County judges and mayors do not have independent authority to issue emergency orders carrying the force and effect of law as this is not one of the powers granted under section 418.108 [of the Texas Government Code].” That is the same provision under which Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, and some other local officials devastated the Texas economy in March with unconstitutional and illegal shutdown orders.