Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is suing Atlanta to block the city from enforcing its mandate to wear a mask in public and other rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying in a court filing that the city’s leadership was illegally circumventing state executive orders with their own edicts.
Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in a suit filed in state court late Thursday, argued that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has overstepped her authority and must obey Kemp’s executive orders under state law.
Kemp “seeks to have this Court make a declaration that Mayor Bottoms’ executive orders are more restrictive and contradictory to his executive orders, and therefore, Mayor Bottoms’ COVID-related executive orders are suspended,” the lawsuit states.
Bottoms had announced on July 10 that Atlanta would go back to “phase 1” status as coronavirus cases surged, arguing the state had been “recklessly” reopened too soon. The move threatened to shutter restaurant dining rooms and non-essential city facilities. At the same time, Bottoms claimed her orders were not “inconsistent” with Kemp’s.