NULLIFICATION: Texas Sheriffs Vow Not to Enforce Governor Greg Abbott’s Mask Edicts
There is a rising number of Texas sheriffs who are refusing to enforce Governor Greg Abbott’s mask edicts that he announced last week after reports of rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.
The sheriffs in the counties of Houston, Gregg, Montgomery, Panola, Upshur, Gillespie, Kerr, Nacogdoches and Denton have vowed not to impose Abbott’s new rules. Abbott, a Republican who fashions himself as a limited government conservative, has caved under the pressure of the fear propaganda.
“The order is not a law, there is no requirement that any police officer enforce it, and it’s unenforceable,” Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree wrote on Friday in a Facebook post. “We can’t spend our time running from place to place for calls about mask we can really do nothing about.”
“Don’t get me wrong. I believe this virus is real and I believe face masks can help stop the spread,” Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said on Thursday.
“My officers will be wearing face masks. We will try to educate the public on the importance of wearing them, but if Governor Abbott wants citations issued, he needs to use state officers to do so. He has more officers at his disposal than I will ever have,” Hierholzer added.
“This language strips law enforcement of the necessary tools to enforce compliance with the law,” the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi bashed Abbott’s orders as well.
While we in law enforcement are desperately trying to build trust w/our community and are spread incredibly thin with the huge rise in violent crime, we are now expexcted to enforce yet another draconian mask law.
Everyone needs to wear a mask, but don’t put us in this position.
— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) July 2, 2020
Big League Politics has reported on how Abbott’s order is non-binding and based on deceiving the public with idle threats in order to get more masks on people’s faces:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has cowered under the pressure and announced an executive order on Thursday that he claims will force everyone in his state to wear a mask to supposedly stop COVID-19 from spreading.
“COVID-19 is not going away, in fact it’s getting worse. Now more than ever, action by everyone is needed until treatments are available for COVID-19,” Abbott said in a video released over social media. “We must do more to slow the spread without locking Texas back down.”
However, public policy analyst Daniel McAdams has found that Abbott is not being forthright about his executive order. Upon closely analyzing the text, McAdams discovered that there is nothing in the order that actually mandates Texans to wear masks in public.
The order reads in part: “Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; provided, however, that this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following…”
McAdams notes that the order is written to be deliberately confusing and mislead Texans into believing they have to wear masks, but it actually does not create a mask mandate in most locations.
“That comma after the word “space” is essential. It establishes “outdoor public space” as a clause within the sentence, meaning both indoor AND outdoor are covered by the exception “wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing.” This is critically important, as it means even in stores or other indoor spaces masks are not required as long as it is possible to “social distance.” That would include every grocery store and reasonably-sized commercial establishment,” McAdams wrote in a blog for the Ron Paul Institute.
McAdams blasts Abbott for cravenly wording his order “in such a purposely weasel-like manner that it will be universally accepted and reported as such.”
True patriots of Texas are not going along with Abbott’s sleight-of-hand tricks, standing strong for core freedoms at a time when it matters the most.