Georgia governor sues Atlanta mayor, city council over mask mandate

"This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times," Gov. Kemp said in a statement.

Updated: July 17, 2020 - 10:43am

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and members of the city council for imposing a mask mandate and other pandemic restrictions.

In addition to challenging a mask requirement, the suit pushes back against the Atlanta Mayor's move to backtrack to "phase one" guidelines, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

According to the Associated Press, some of the requests in the governor's suit are that the judge overturn any of the mayor's orders that impose stiffer restrictions than the governor has instituted and that the judge prohibit the mayor from putting out any new orders with stiffer restrictions than those of the governor. 

“Governor Kemp must be allowed, as the chief executive of this state, to manage the public health emergency without Mayor Bottoms issuing void and unenforceable orders which only serve to confuse the public,” the lawsuit states according to the AP.

"This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times," Gov. Kemp said in a Twitter statement. "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."

Mayor Bottoms spoke out about the governor's move.

"3104 Georgians have died and I and my family are amongst the 106k who have tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, I have been sued by @GovKemp for a mask mandate. A better use of tax payer money would be to expand testing and contact tracing," she tweeted.

"Reading is fundamental. @GovKemp is suing Atlanta over RECOMMENDED guidelines," the mayor also tweeted.

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