Georgia Governor Sues Atlanta Mayor Over Face Mask Rule

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia has filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, seeking to bar her from ordering city residents to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The lawsuit comes days after Kemp issued an executive order prohibiting municipalities from mandating that residents utilize face masks. Kemp argues that Bottoms does not have the authority to modify or change his executive orders.

Following Georgia’s reopening of its economy, coronavirus cases have surged. In response, Bottoms has rolled Atlanta back from “Phase 2” of reopening to “Phase 1,” a move that Kemp has also challenged in the lawsuit. Kemp is also requesting that the court bar the Mayor from promulgating any further ordinances related to social distancing, and that it issue a gag order barring the Mayor from making statements to the press that she has the authority to put forth rules related to the pandemic that are either more or less restrictive than the Governor’s orders.

Additional Reading

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, Kemp v. Bottoms et. al, filed July 16, 2020

Photo credit: / Christopher V Jones