ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sues Atlanta over the city’s requirement to wear masks in public and other COVID-19 restrictions.
Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in a state court suit filed late Thursday, argued that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has overstepped her authority and must obey Kemp’s executive orders under state law.
This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times. (1/4) https://t.co/vxiOmteHaH
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 16, 2020
He posted on Twitter: “This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times. These men and women are doing their very best to put food on the table for their families while local elected officials shutter businesses and undermine economic growth. Just like sending in the @GeorgiaGuard to protect those living in our capital city from crime and violence, I refuse to sit back and watch as disastrous policies threaten the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. We will fight to stop these reckless actions and put people over pandemic politics.
Mayors in Atlanta and other Georgia cities say they want their requirements for people to wear masks in public to remain in place, even after Gov. Brian Kemp explicitly forbade cities and counties from mandating face coverings.
The suit comes a day after Kemp clarified his executive orders to expressly block Atlanta and at least 14 other local governments from requiring people to wear face coverings.
Kemp’s order was met with defiance Thursday by Bottoms and other mayors, who said they would continue enforcing their mandates and were prepared to go to court.
Kemp is encouraging people to wear masks, but declines to make it mandatory, unlike governors in 25 other states.