Texas Attorney General threatens legal action over El Paso County Judge’s shutdown order
EL PASO, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted Thursday night that his office was “exploring” all legal options after El Paso County issued an order shutting down all non-essential businesses due to a severe spike in Covid-19 hospitalizations.
“El Paso County Judge Samaniego has no authority to shut down business in El Paso County. This is a direct violation of Gov. Abbot’s executive order,” Paxton wrote.
El Paso County Judge Samaniego has no authority to shut down businesses in El Paso County. This is a direct violation of @GovAbbott’s executive order.
My office is quickly exploring all legal actions.
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) October 30, 2020
Paxton’s comments came after El Paso Mayor Dee Margo sent a letter to the attorney general seeking clarification as to whether Samaniego had the authority to order business closures.
“The Judge did not consult me and refuses to return my call, so I am seeking clarification from the Attorney General on the new County order, which does not supersede the Governor’s orders,” Margo said in a statement to the media.
Margo expressed his opposition to the county order, saying he felt “we must strike a balance of keeping our neighbors safe while not destroying people’s abilities to feed their families.”
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