After a conservative Republican activist in Houston filed a lawsuit against the Democrat leader of the state’s largest county, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened in the lawsuit—on behalf of the Democrat.
A practicing medical doctor and controversial conservative activist for decades, Dr. Steve Hotze helms “Conservative Republicans of Texas” and serves as an aggressive advocate for Christian conservative politicians and policy outcomes. Based in Houston, he’s filed multiple lawsuits in multiple courts, seeking to rein in the power seized by Gov. Greg Abbott and Democrat Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and overturn the mask orders they’ve imposed.
In Hidalgo’s Harris County, businesses who do not require patrons to wear a mask face a fine of up to $1,000. In his lawsuits, Hotze is seeking to overturn that mandate.
“Over the past four months, Judge Lina Hidalgo has issued numerous orders based on hysteria, including banning worship services, requiring Harris County residents to wash their hands, ordering Harris County residents not touch their face, requesting that neighbors report neighbors, implementing a COVID-19 contact-tracing, and forcing individuals to wear facial coverings. Unfortunately, Hidalgo continues to issue orders that trample on the liberties of Harris County residents, orders whose validity is highly suspect,” one lawsuit reads.
However, Hotze’s attempt to overturn Hidalgo’s orders suffered a setback last week when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened in the lawsuit in support of Hidalgo.
Texas Attorney General @KenPaxtonTX has intervened in Hotze v Hidalgo lawsuit in support of socialist @HarrisCoJudge Lina Hidalgo’s mask order. The lawsuit is now in the Texas Supreme Court. Why has Paxton turned his back on the constitution?
— Dr. Steven Hotze (@DrStevenHotze) July 22, 2020
Hotze responded to Paxton’s entrance by penning a letter to him, which has since been shared with Texas Scorecard. In the letter, Hotze accuses Paxton of siding against the people of Texas and implementing “illogical thinking.”
“You chose to intervene in my lawsuit, Hotze et al. v Hidalgo, [on] behalf of Socialist/Communist Hidalgo. My lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of her executive orders. You did not have to intervene on her behalf. You chose to do so.
“Furthermore, you wrote to the trial court asking that my case tomorrow, in which I plea for a Temporary Injunction against Hidalgo’ order, be dismissed for lack of standing and lack of jurisdiction.
“You have now written in different cases that neither the trial court nor the Texas Supreme Court has jurisdiction over Abbott and Hidalgo. Which court then would have jurisdiction? This is illogical thinking on your part.
“Abbott, Hidalgo and other elected politicians cannot just dictate new laws and penalties without being able to be challenged in court. Read the Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 28, ‘No power may suspend laws in the state except the legislature.’ The preeminent laws are the Texas and U.S. Constitutions.
“Both Abbott and Hidalgo have arbitrarily locked down and regulated businesses, schools and churches. They have declared some business as essential and others as non-essential.
“These edicts are unconstitutional based upon the first, fourth, and fourteenth amendments to the US Constitution.
“Our freedom to worship and to peaceably assemble have been violated. Our businesses have been closed down and regulated without legal due process. Our equal protection under the law has been denied, some businesses being considered essential and others considered non-essential. Thousands can march in protest while others have been denied church services.
“Why hasn’t Abbott called a special session of the legislature?
“Abbott and you do not want any of my cases to be decided on their merits by the Texas Supreme Court. You have continually sided with Hidalgo and Abbott as they trample on our Texas and U.S. Constitutional rights. I am so disappointed in and perplexed by your actions.”
Hotze then asks Paxton to reconsider his actions and oppose Abbott.
“Ken, it’s not too late to do the right thing and stand up for our Constitutional rights. When Abbott violates both the Texas and U.S. Constitutions, you are obligated by your oath of office to oppose him.
“Thank you for taking time to read and reflect on my perspective. It is shared by hundreds of thousands of conservative Republicans.”
Hotze is seeking to undo Hidalgo and Abbott’s orders in multiple courts. Texas Scorecard will report further as things develop.