Attorney General Ken Paxton commended the U.S. Supreme Court for denying inmates’ request to re-impose burdensome COVID-19 requirements that unnecessarily exceeded professional measures already implemented by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). The case, known as Valentine v. Collier, now returns to New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where OAG attorneys will continue representing for the TDCJ.
“The requirements thankfully blocked by the Fifth Circuit, and now reinforced by SCOTUS’s decision, reflect outdated guidance that has been revised in light of increased knowledge of COVID-19. The TDCJ has taken extraordinary measures in its ongoing efforts to protect inmates from COVID-19 and they must retain flexibility. A court does not know better than TDCJ on how to care for its inmates, especially when they’ve done such an excellent job,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I look forward to prevailing in further proceedings.”
The appeal proceeds in the Fifth Circuit and oral argument is set for December 3, 2020.