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Texas AG Files Lawsuit Against Austin Mayor Over COVID Shutdown

'The city has a responsibility to enforce existing orders, not make new ones...'

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin and its mayor, Steve Adler, over the city’s extreme coronavirus restrictions.

Paxton first voiced his concerns about Adler’s restrictions on Wednesday, arguing Adler’s four-day shutdown of indoor dining violated Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order allowing restaurants to reopen to 75% dining capacity.

Adler’s order prohibits dine-in service between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3.

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Dr. Mark Escott, interim Austin-Travis County health authority, defended Austin’s strict lockdown order, calling the situation “critical.”

“We are asking the public to stay home as much as possible and not gather with people outside their households for New Year’s Eve,” he said.

“We are now experiencing uncontrolled, widespread community transmission of COVID-19, particularly in circumstances where masking and distancing are not possible, making bars and similar establishments extremely concerning over this holiday weekend.”

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Abbott, however, warned Austin that its shutdown was unconstitutional.

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