Lawsuit Against El Paso County Judge In Court Today
I'm not sure if you know this or not, but El Paso is in the middle of a terrifying spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Wednesday's numbers were particularly horrifying. The El Paso Health Department reported eight COVID-19 deaths and 3,100 new COVID-19 positive cases. On Tuesday they reported 1,085 new cases and four deaths.
This scary rise in COVID-19 cases spurred El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and Mayor Dee Margo to put restrictions into place a couple of weeks ago to try and slow the spread. Unfortunately, those measures don't seem to be enough and last week, County Judge Samaniego shocked El Pasoans when he put a two-week shutdown into place.
Almost immediately, Margo sought clarification from the Texas Attorney General about whether Samaniego's additional order was legal. There was a lot of embarrassing back and forth between local and state officials, and today, the whole thing landed in court.
The state's 34th District Court heard a request as part of a lawsuit from Ken Paxton and several El Paso restaurant owners who were trying to get a temporary injunction to block Samaniego's order that shut down, among other things, in-restaurant dining.
The lawsuit says that Samaniego is violating Governor Greg Abbott's emergency orders that reopened the businesses and activities that Samaniego's shut down. The court heard oral arguments for about an hour and a half and said that it will rule by Friday on the temporary injunction being sought by the Texas Attorney General and the El Paso restaurants named in the lawsuit.
Sorry, but with these numbers getting worse and the holidays just a few weeks away, I hope the judge doesn't rule in favor of the entities in the lawsuit. This has got to stop. We are in serious trouble.