A lot of the country’s most pressing issues – mask mandates, voting, and immigration — have something in common.
Texas is at odds with towns, counties, and school districts over local COVID-19 replies that exceed the state’s expectations. This is a model for state-local battles in other places, such as Florida, and the legal wrangling is already before the Texas Supreme Court.
When they aren’t fighting with local politicians, the state’s governor and attorney general are hurling legal grenades at the Biden administration over masks and immigration. Some of this might end up in front of the United States Supreme Court
Our Legislature has been on the beach for more than a month, since Democrats in the Texas House fled to Washington, D.C., to block the passage of a Republican “election integrity” law that they claim will make voting more difficult for Democrats. Once there, they attempted and failed to persuade Congress, which has a Democratic majority, to adopt voting legislation that would preempt what Republicans are doing in Texas and other states.
If you follow national politics and policy, Texas is at the forefront.
Texas is at the forefront of coronavirus news, with hospitalizations nearing all-time highs. This week, Gov. Greg Abbott tested positive for COVID-19. According to The Texas Tribune’s Karen Brooks Harper and Carla Astudillo, the newest wave of the epidemic might outnumber previous waves in what one doctor dubbed “the fourth round of what should have been a three-round war.”
Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are suing school districts and municipal governments for violating the state’s ban on mask requirements and requiring evidence of vaccination for entry into select public areas.
Willie Nelson is the newest anti-coronavirus fighter, demanding evidence of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test to attend his Outlaw Music Festival in Austin on Sunday. The governor has stated that companies with state licenses or funds cannot use vaccinations as a reason for admittance; Nelson, like others, is putting that to the test.
The Biden administration has warned that restrictions on school mask regulations might jeopardize federal money for education, thereby siding with districts that want to impose masks.
It wouldn’t be the first time someone filed a lawsuit. The administration has already filed a lawsuit against the state for ordering state police to halt vehicles transporting migrants suspected of possessing COVID-19. Abbott and other state officials have accused the federal government of abandoning immigration enforcement and contributing to a massive spike in migration across the state’s border with Mexico, which began earlier this year, and the migrant roundup order was part of wider state intervention.