Galveston County judge says he believes mask orders are unconstitutional

GALVESTON, Texas – There will be no orders mandating people wear masks in Galveston County, according to County Judge Mark Henry.

Citing “individual liberty and freedom,” Henry said in a Facebook post Wednesday that he believes such orders are unconstitutional.

His remarks came after news surfaced that Judge Lina Hidalgo, in neighboring Harris County, is expected to issue an order that will require all residents to wear a mask or face covering when out in public for the next month. The order is expected to take effect Monday.

“It’s important now more than ever that we stress personal responsibility,” Henry wrote in the Facebook post.

Henry said he encourages all residents to observe recommendations by national and local health authorities, which call for people to wear face coverings when out in public. However, he will stop short of mandating them.

“Just as critical as getting our economy back up and running, it is important that elected officials uphold their oaths to defend the Constitution and ensure individual freedoms remain in tact during and after this pandemic,” Henry wrote.

Henry said he looks forward to guidance from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on the next steps to take to reopen the county.

Galveston County will not be issuing any orders mandating citizens to wear masks or face coverings in public. America...

Posted by Judge Mark Henry on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.