HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) - Steven Hotze, M.D. is suing Democratic Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo for requiring that everyone in Harris County, 10 and older, wear a mask in public or face a potential $1,000 fine. Hidalgo hopes her mask order will slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Dr. Hotze is the Chief Executive Officer of Conservative Republicans of Texas.
Hidalgo’s order was issued Wednesday, April 22, and takes effect on Monday. Unless overturned by a judge or extended by Hidalgo, it will last for 30 days. Hidalgo's order allows for scarves, bandanas, handkerchiefs and homemade masks.
Authentic medical masks have been exceptionally difficult to buy. Those that are available have been going first to medical workers on the frontlines fighting coronavirus.
This is the second time Hotze has sued Hidalgo. He's also filed suit to stop her stay-at-home directive. He claims it violates a provision of the Constitution that gives the Legislature “exclusive authority to define crimes and to designate the punishments for those crimes.”
Hotze's suit filed on Thursday say Hidalgo can't issue more restrictive orders than Gov. Greg Abbott who has not mandated masks in public.
"Enough is enough," Hotze said in a letter to supporters. "It is time to unmask socialism.... We, the people, need to be bold and courageous, and stand up for our God given, unalienable constitutional rights," Hotze wrote.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George has issued an order "strongly recommending" masks but he stopped short of ordering people to wear them.