On Thursday, the Third Court of Appeals released an opinion ruling in favor of local authorities to uphold masking requirements in Harris County, providing further legal support for Austin ISD’s mask mandate.
“In summary, we conclude that the Governor does not possess absolute authority under the Texas Disaster Act to preempt orders issued by local governmental entities or officials that contradict his executive orders,” the opinion stated.
In August 2021, Austin ISD joined a similar mask mandate case with La Joya ISD and other large districts against Greg Abbott’s executive order. The case is pending in the Third Court of Appeals.
The recent ruling for Harris County aligns with the district’s standing on mask enforcement, which could lead to a similar outcome.
The district expects the court to issue an opinion on its case at the beginning of February.