The Supreme Court of Texas has temporarily blocked Harris County’s new guaranteed income program Uplift Harris, issuing a ruling on April 23 that prohibits the county from making payments pending further order, just one day before program recipients were set to receive their first payment installment.

How we got here

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the original lawsuit on April 9 seeking a temporary restraining order against Harris County officials administering the program, citing it as unconstitutional in the 16-page lawsuit. While a state district judge ruled against Paxton's lawsuit on April 18, Paxton filed an emergency motion with the Supreme Court of Texas on April 23. Hours after Paxton's office released a statement, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its administrative stay on the same day.

“I’m pleased the Supreme Court of Texas has blocked Harris County from disbursing these unlawful payments. I look forward to continuing to defend our Constitution and preventing this egregious misuse of taxpayer money," Paxton said in a statement.

The other side

Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee has represented the county during ongoing litigations with the Texas courts and issued a statement on April 23.

"It’s unfortunate the court would take such an extraordinary step to block a program that would help people in Harris County—even temporarily. The court knew that the first payments were scheduled to go out tomorrow. I will keep fighting to protect this program, and I look forward to continuing to argue that Uplift Harris is good legally and morally," Menefee said.

What else

The Supreme Court of Texas also requested that Harris County officials respond to the state’s emergency motion for temporary relief by 4:30 p.m. on April 29.

This is a developing story with updates to follow.