Gov. Abbott's mask mandate draws mixed reactions from lawyers - FOX34 Lubbock

Gov. Abbott's mask mandate draws mixed reactions from lawyers

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Gov. Abbott's mask mandate issued Thursday has drawn mixed reaction, with some calling the order unconstitutional.

Attorney Kevin Glasheen said the Governor's order requiring all Texans to wear masks in public is constitutional. He said the state has the authority to pass any law for the health, welfare and safety of the general public.

"States can pass health and safety laws like seat belt laws, restaurant inspections, licensing for barbers and plumbers...all those things are allowed to be done by the state," Glasheen said.

Some Texans have protested, saying the mandate "infringes their rights." If there is a legal challenge to the order based on the constitution, Glasheen said there will be a high hurdle to overcome. That will be how closely the court will study the law and its effects, called "strict scrutiny."

"If it is just a law that is inconvenient to people, the courts will look at it and say, 'Well, do the states have any rational basis whatsoever for this law?' and if the state does, then that's within the state's power," Glasheen said.

However, Attorney and State Rep. Briscoe Cain disagrees and points to a different set of laws.

"I think some strong arguments can be made that it goes too far, and that it violates several provisions of the Texas constitution," Cain said.

Cain serves as the state representative for Baytown, near Houston and is the senior counsel for Fulton Strahan Law Group. On Friday, he tweeted he would represent anyone who is fined for not wearing a mask for free.

While he said he supports the wearing of masks, he believes freedom cannot be given.

"I believe it's something that can be taken or taken from you. So, just because of what's going on doesn't mean that the constitution is suspended," Cain said.

 

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