- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday slammed a federal judge’s ruling that he said prioritizes prison inmates over first responders on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison in Houston issued a temporary restraining order Thursday requiring a Texas prison for geriatric inmates to provide hand sanitizer and face masks to its prisoners.

Judge Ellison, who was appointed by President Clinton, wrote the elderly inmates “face a high risk of serious illness or death from the exposure to COVID-19.” He also ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to test all inmates at the prison for the virus.

Mr. Paxton blasted the ruling in a statement, saying first responders are scrounging for life-saving medical equipment that will now be provided to criminals.

“It is outrageous that Texas should provide inmates unlimited personal protective equipment and testing kits when the medical professionals currently combating this health crisis are in desperate need of supplies to protect themselves and the Texans who are actually suffering from this virus,” Mr. Paxton said.



“This acute national health crisis is not the time for judicial activism,” he said. “In the same way a federal judge tried to order personal protective equipment to abortion providers, now a judge wants supplies reserved for hardened criminals.”

Mr. Paxton has vowed to appeal the ruling.

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