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Judge rules against Gov. Abbott; El Paso’s new mask mandate takes effect Saturday

EL PASO, Texas — A judge Thursday afternoon granted the City of El Paso's request for a temporary injunction, blocking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order forbidding mask mandates.

County Court at Law Judge Ruben Morales' ruling allows El Paso City/County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza to institute mask rules.

As a result, Ocaranza announced Thursday evening that he would reinstate a mask mandate for all of El Paso County effective Saturday at 12:01 a.m. (You can read the entire mask mandate details at the bottom of this article.)

The judge cited the current threat posed by Covid-19 in El Paso in issuing his decision, and he noted that Abbott himself has acknowledged face masks are effective to help halt the virus' spread.

Last month, Morales had signed a temporary restraining order after determining that Abbott exceeded his authority under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.

Thursday's granting of an injunction, a more permanent measure than a restraining order, comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the city against Abbott. The judge set a trial date of Oct. 7.

Morales indicated he believed there's a strong likelihood the city would prevail on the merits of the case at trial and he dismissed a claim by Abbott that the court lacked jurisdiction to decide the matter.

The state Attorney General's Office, which represents the governor, said it will appeal Morales' injunction ruling.

Below you'll find the following items, in this order: Copies of Ocaranza's latest mask mandate and Morales' order granting an injunction. You can also view the judge's comments in court in the video player below.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



    1. Texas AG Paxton has already appealed the ruling from the 8th Court of Appeals to the Texas Supreme Court. He wants the complete mask mandates which includes the school districts removed per the Governor’s original order. SCOTEX already reversed San Antonio’s mask mandate similar to El Paso’s.

    1. Hey nitwit your mask will not protect you from a microbe that is less than 2 microns in size. Stop following junk science. Wearing a mask should be a choice not an unlawful order from the nanny state and nitwits like you.

  1. We’re letting too many judges decide how to live our lives. Our elected leaders on both sides are failing in their duties. They’re required to work together but they both absolutely refuse to do it. Blame Trumpism, blame the Squad, blame the tooth fairy for all I care. They are all failures.

      1. You’re an idiot. I’m blaming everyone and I’m pretty sure I said that in my post. Apparently that means you as well. Biden is an old guy with obvious mental issues. Guess what, Trump is an old guy with obvious mental issue. Hell, Trump still thinks he won. We’re a country that worships idiots like Trump and Biden. Their followers are idiots if that includes you, so be it.

        1. You’re a moron. But you didn’t specifically name Biden nitwit since you probably voted for him and admire him. Plus we all know you are anti-Trump with extreme Mango Mussolini Syndrome. The only idiot here is you.

          1. But you’re not a decent American nitwit. You’re an anti-American Communist. Well over 70 million voters in this country are obviously pro Trump. Your problem along with moron Stevie is you both have extreme TDS that clouds whatever judgement you have.

      1. Why should the government make you wear a seatbelt if you have medical insurance? Don’t be stupid Delanders. But please don’t wear a mask! Please.

        1. Why should you have an opinion? You don’t pay it taxes, you live in a Section 8 apartment and receive food stamps & you are forbidden to vote.

          Go back to Mex and clean windshields on the bridge.

        2. Hey nitwit that’s for real safety since you can actually get killed in a car accident. With the covid you have a 99.5% of not catching it and dying from it. BTW – Your worthless mask is on backwards nitwit.

    1. It’s the same nitwit judge. These county court of law judges are nothing but gloried traffic ticket judges. Too bad a real state district court judge wasn’t selected.

        1. The El Paso 8th Court of Appeals already shot this judge down in part last week nitwit. No biggy since SCOTEX will soon throw out the complete unlawful mask mandate. They already trashed the one in San Antonio. In the end the Governor will prevail.

          1. Don’t waste your time using logic on alberto. You are dealing with a mental case with personalities that make him think he a re-incarnation of Pancho Villa, to him thinking he is a doctor and a lawyer.

  2. A liberal judge from El Paso decides huh? That judge is nothing more than a lawyer that had more “friends” than the other guy running for the seat and we all know what lawyers are.

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