Texas: Atty Gen prohibits local authorities from shutting down churches and religious schools

Texas: Atty Gen prohibits local authorities from shutting down churches and religious schools
San Fernando Cathedral in Texas. Pixabay

[Ed. – Good to see, although I understand some other state reactions are still thought to need a bit of tweaking.]

The attorney general of Texas yesterday ordered local authorities to cease any attempts to shut down churches and private religious schools, stating that those institutions are protected by both the U.S. Constitution and Texas statute.

In an open letter on Friday, A.G. Ken Paxton said that “the robust constitutional and statutory protections unique to religious individuals and communities at all times” prohibit local governments from closing them down, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paxton said that, adjacent [sic] to the state’s efforts to reopen public schools in the fall, “local public health officials have [recently] begun to issue orders restricting or limiting in-person instruction” in private schools. In the letter, the attorney general said that “religious private schools and institutions” are exempt from those regulations.

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