AUSTIN, TX -- Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced the filing of a mandamus petition in the 5th Court of Appeals to strike down the actions by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. The judge’s order violates Executive Order GA-38 and state law. GA-38 prohibits governmental entities and officials from mandating face coverings. It has the force and effect of state law and supersedes local rules and regulations.

The Texas Disaster Act clearly states that the Governor has the power to guide the state through emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy the order will be taken to court.

“Under Executive Order GA-38, no governmental entity can require or mandate the wearing of masks,” said Governor Abbott. “The path forward relies on personal responsibility—not government mandates. The State of Texas will continue to vigorously fight the temporary restraining order to protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans.”

“This isn’t the first time we have dealt with activist characters. It’s deja vu all over again,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Attention-grabbing judges and mayors have defied executive orders before, when the pandemic first started, and the courts ruled on our side – the law. I’m confident the outcomes to any suits will side with liberty and individual choice, not mandates and government overreach.”