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Court upholds Bexar County's authority in ongoing mask mandate chess match; AG Paxton indicates Texas Supreme Court is next stop

The development effectively denied an attempt by Gov. Greg Abbott to reassert the high ground in the ongoing legal battle.

SAN ANTONIO — As the legal battle continues over how much jurisdiction local Texas leaders have to respond to the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic amid Gov. Greg Abbott's executive orders, Bexar County scored another victory in court Friday. 

The Fourth Court of Appeals decided to uphold local leaders' authority to mandate face coverings in schools, in turn denying an attempt by Abbott to appeal a district court judge's decision earlier this week to issue a temporary restraining order against the governor's executive order banning such mandates. 

Mayor Ron Nirenberg responded to the development on Twitter, saying he was encouraged by it. 

And Andy Segovia, attorney for San Antonio, responded with the following statement: 

“We are pleased with the result of the Fourth Court’s ruling. The mask mandate is time sensitive and every day we have to fight the pandemic is another day we are able to keep our community safe. We look forward to the Monday temporary injunction hearing.”

Also on Friday, the White House threw its support behind local leaders in Texas as well as Florida, another Republican-governed state where city and county officials have moved to defy state orders. 

An injunction hearing is still set for Monday, and may determine whether or not local leaders remain able to implement mandates. But Attorney General Ken Paxton has already indicated the state's next move: Taking the issue to the Texas Supreme Court. 

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