E.T. v. Paxton
E.T. v. Paxton (U.S. District Court, W.D. Tex., Nov. 10, 2021; stayed Dec. 1, 2021, U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit): The 5th Circuit stayed a federal district court decision permanently blocking Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting school mask mandates in the state. The district court concluded the order violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act. The court explained that the order “excludes disabled children from participating in and denies them the benefits of public schools’ programs, services, and activities to which they are entitled,” thereby conflicting with federal law. On December 1, 2021, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the district court’s order, concluding in part that the Governor’s order does not necessarily conflict with federal law. The trial court decision is available here; read the 5th Circuit’s stay here.