A Houston area doctor who is also a conservative political activist is suing to block Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s recent order requiring residents over 10 years old to wear face masks in public places for 30 days, with some narrow exceptions.
“The rights we enjoy under the Texas Constitution are being trampled on by Judge Hidalgo, while millions of individuals have lost their jobs and thousands of businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy,” Dr. Steven Hotze’s petition to the Harris County District Court reads. “If Judge Hidalgo’s Order is not declared unconstitutional and void, once this virus passes, the rights we are afforded under the Texas Constitution will forever be damaged.”
The suit claims Hidalgo has exceeded her authority by implementing orders more restrictive than those of Gov. Greg Abbott, which take precedence. It also claims that the Disaster Act limits Hidalgo’s powers to those explicitly outlined in the statute, which “does not contain any language forcing private citizens to wear masks, wash their hands, refrain from touching their face, or stay six feet away from another under the threat of fines.”