Court Battles

Activists and pastors sue Texas governor over stay-at-home order

Activists and pastors filed a lawsuit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over his stay-at-home order Thursday, saying it violates their constitutional rights. 

Steve Hotze, a conservative activist, and several Houston-area pastors accused the state’s governor and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of “imposing draconian, unconstitutional requirements” on Texas residents in a lawsuit filed in Travis County, The Houston Chronicle reported

“Once government and its constituents start operating on the basis of fear rather than facts, they are willing to take whatever medicine is prescribed, no matter how harmful the side effects may be,” the suit said, according to the Chronicle. 

“Churches and small businesses are shut down, and Texans right to move about freely is restricted. For all practical purposes, the governor’s executive order constitutes a ‘lock-down,’” it read.

The lawsuit claims that the state officials are setting a bad precedent for future disasters by stopping the economy.

The Hill has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment. 

Several of the plaintiffs also filed a suit challenging Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s stay-at-home order that designated religious services as nonessential. Days after the this suit was filed, Abbott declared religious services essential in his stay-at-home order. 

Texas has documented 16,455 confirmed cases of COVID-19, leading to 393 deaths and 3,677 recoveries, according to the state health department.

Tags constitutional rights Coronavirus COVID-19 Lawsuit pastors stay-at-home orders Texas
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