Fort Bend County is suing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, seeking a temporary injunction against the governor’s executive order limiting what local public entities can do to stem the spike in coronavirus cases.
Commissioners gathered for a hastily-called emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon and voted to approve the lawsuit, challenging Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates, nonvoluntary vaccines and limits on businesses.
“We are experiencing a health crisis emergency, and I am concerned about the health and safety of our children and the hardworking employees in Fort Bend County,” County Judge KP George said. “How do you strip local government of the power to protect public safety?”
George on social media and in a letter he penned earlier Wednesday has been increasingly explicit in his calls for Abbott and other state leaders to do something in response to growing numbers of delta variant cases of the coronavirus in Texas.
Abbott this week asked hospitals across the state to voluntarily postpone elective medical procedures and has directed state officials to find additional medical staff outside Texas to help, but has not removed any of his earlier executive orders, according to the Associated Press.
A growing number of Fort Bend County residents have checked themselves into the hospital in recent weeks.
Fort Bend County is not the first place in Texas to bring legal challenges to Abbott’s executive orders.
Officials in Bexar and Dallas counties have also sued the governor, seeking to end the executive order.
Texas judges have temporarily granted authorities in those counties the ability to issue mandates on Tuesday while the issue works its way through the courts, according to a Houston Public Media article.