Is it legal? Is it not legal? Just what is Judge Samaniego's order to shutdown El Paso? We aren't quite sure, but we know that Governor Greg Abbott has chimed in on the whole situation. Just a quick recap:

  • Judge Samaniego issued a shutdown for two weeks of El Paso.
  • Mayor Dee Margo claimed this was unlawful.
  • Attorney General of Texas ken Paxton backed up Mayor Margo.
  • The El Paso County Sheriff's office said they were going to be enforcing Judge Samaniego's order.
  • The El Paso Police Department said they would not be enforcing Judge Samaniego's order.

All caught up? Good. Yesterday Texas Governor Greg Abbott commented on the whole situation, and he came out swinging, saying:

At a press conference on Oct. 25, the county judge made clear that he had not been enforcing existing protocols allowed under law, despite the fact that these protocols are effective strategies to contain Covid-19 while allowing the businesses to stay open.

Oooohhh buddy and that's not all. Governor Abbott added:

He failed to do his job and is now illegally shutting down entire businesses which will cause further harm to El Pasoans who are already suffering economically due to the pandemic. These protocols proved effective to slow the spread over the summer and will work now, but only if they are enforced.

The big issue we're dealing with here has to do with Judge Samaniego essentially circumventing Governor Abbott's orders. But is it illegal? We still don't really know. Just like the Presidential election we are just going to have to wait for the outcome.