Based upon the advice and recommendations of medical professionals and hospital administrators, effective at midnight tonight, I am ordering a shutdown of all non-essential services for a two-week period," El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said in a virtual news conference Thursday.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to El Paso Mayor Dee Margo on Thursday night, explaining that Samaniego does not have the authority to order a shutdown. Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order on reopening the economy, GA-32, “explicitly preempts all contradictory local orders,” he explained.
The El Paso Police Department quoted the attorney general's letter, which stated that the shutdown order "is unlawful and unenforceable because it conflicts with Executive Order GA-32. For these reasons, we have advised El Paso County Judge Samaniego to immediately rescind or revise his order to make it consistent with GA-32 or face likely further legal action."