The lawyers for Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins met in court Tuesday morning and presented their defenses regarding the mask mandate ban issued by the Republican governor despite rising COVID-19 cases and the mask mandate issues by Jenkins despite the governor’s ban.
Judge Tonya Parker in the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas heard the arguments through a Zoom meeting, and witnesses were presented, WFAA reported.
Jenkins’ attorneys presented five witnesses, and one of them was Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, a neurologist from UT Southwestern Medical Center. Greenberg said not listening to experts “strikes me as overly political or ludicrous.” He pointed out researches that prove masks are effective in fighting against COVID-19. Jenkins’ attorneys, likewise, presented documents and social media postings from Abbott talking about the use and effectiveness of face coverings.
Jenkins was also a witness. When asked if he had other motivation for defying the mask mandate ban of Abbott aside from believing what is in the best interest of the citizens, he said, “No motivation other than to save lives and tamp down illness.”
Melissa Griffith, a mom of two daughters, also testified for mask mandates. Griffith said one of her daughters is seven years old and has a rare medical condition. If her daughter ever got a severe cold or lung infection because of COVID-19, she could die.
As for Abbott’s camp, they presented no witnesses. Their main argument was the governor has the sole authority to decide if a state-wide mask order is necessary. The decision of Parker is expected to be issued soon regarding the matter.
This is not the first time that Abbott and his lawyers faced local officials regarding mask mandates. There are six similar hearings across Texas. All these cases are believed to make their way up to the Texas Supreme Court.
The mask mandate ban by Abbott remains in place. Jenkins’ mask mandate is also still in place.