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Nirenberg, Wolff on Abbott, Paxton: Blocking mask mandates is “political theater”

KTSA News/Katy Barber - San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, center, and other city officials encouraged people to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the San Antonio Emergency Operations Center Friday, July 23, 2021.

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — San Antonio officials and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff lofted more verbal volleys in their legal battle with Governor Greg Abbott over mask mandates.

The City of San Antonio said it is taking issue with Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Petition for Writ of Mandamus in the 4th Court of Appeals to block the city’s and county’s temporary restraining order against Abbott’s mask mandate ban.

“The attorney general’s petition says that enabling municipalities to tailor solutions to this public health emergency causes the state harm. The real harm here is putting vulnerable children at risk because of the AG’s political theater,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a statement Friday.  “More important, the governor acknowledges a state of emergency but then takes the position that the response can only be a matter of personal responsibility.”

The county’s top elected official also got in a shot at the state leadership.

“We hope the health and welfare of our children prevail over the political theater that the governor has created,” Wolff stated.

The city’s lawsuit against Abbott argued that the governor’s executive order only applies to state-level entities and not local governments.  Abbott and Paxton strongly disagree with that interpretation of state law.

Even top appointed San Antonio city officials threw verbal elbows at the state leaders.

“The State of Texas has increasingly become inconsistent with their response to the pandemic, allowing for mask mandates in state jail facilities but not allowing local governments and schools to protect vulnerable children,” San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia added in the city statement.

City of San Antonio COVID-19 data chart as of August 13, 2021.

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