SWFinatic wrote:Shoffer not disagreeing with you but I have heard Governor Abbott say on multiple occasions while all local governments shall at a minimum comply with the EO any local government can take it a step further and increase levels of security or take additional steps of precaution they just can't reduce from what is outlined in the EO. Have you heard this?
I have not seen the Governor's statements about his order, but I don't think we are saying different things.
Here is the relevant text of the EO:
As it says, the EO supersedes any local orders, but only to the extent that they (a) are inconsistent with or conflict with the EO and (b) only to the extent that the local order "restricts essential services allowed by this EO or allows gatherings prohibited by this EO." So, if a local government says to shut down all grocery stores, that would not be a valid order, because it "restricts essential services allowed by this executive order." If a local government order were to allow gatherings of non-family members for Naked Twister games, that would not be a valid order, because it "allows gatherings prohibited by this executive order."
The other important part of the paragraph from the EO I have quoted above is the part where the Governor has suspended the statutes that permit local governments to issue orders as part of a disaster declaration, "but only to the extent necessary to ensure that local officials do not impose restrictions inconsistent with this executive order." That's where my fishing analysis comes in. The EO says it permits fishing so long as precautions are maintained. If a local government issues a local order that prohibits fishing or continues to enforce a preexisting local order that prohibited fishing or interprets and enforces vague local orders so as to prohibit hunting or fishing, that action would be invalid because it imposes "restrictions inconsistent with this executive order."
The portion of the EO to which you appear to be referring is the last phrase of the paragraph I have quoted that says “provided that local officials may enforce this executive order as well as local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order.” For instance, the EO orders “every person in Texas” to “minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household” “except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services.” If a local order came out that said that there could be no in-person contact among people in groups of 5 or more people outside the same household, that order would seem to be “consistent with this executive order” and could be lawfully passed and implemented.
Of course, all of this my reasoned legal opinion. I am no judge and I am no governor. The legality of this order, and its contours, will all presumably be tested in court down the road, but I feel pretty comfortable that if you wanted to kayak fish with your buddy in West Galveston Bay, and you both rode down there in separate cars and kept a 10-foot distance from each other at all times, you would be perfectly in compliance with the EO.
So, thanks for the opportunity to clarify, SWFanatic.