Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Drops Lawsuit Against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Over Mask Mandate

Atl. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Drops Lawsuit Against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Over Mask Mandate

Update #2 (Aug. 14th): Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has withdrawn his lawsuit against Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta. While Brian Kemp openly took issue with Keisha Lance Bottoms’ move to close nonessential businesses and enforce a city-wide mask mandate, he has now dropped his claim. He said Thursday (Aug. 13),

“I sued the City of Atlanta to immediately stop the shuttering of local businesses and protect local workers from economic instability. Unfortunately, the Mayor has made it clear that she will not agree to a settlement that safeguards the rights of private property owners in Georgia… [And] following her refusal in mediation to further negotiate a compromise, the Attorney General’s Office has filed to withdraw our pending lawsuit.”

Still, this might not be the last we’ve heard about it. He suggested that he plans on putting out a new executive order “with relevant language” after his current order ends on Aug. 15.

In the meantime, Keisha Lance Bottoms questioned why she was the only mayor who faced legal action as other cities in the state have similar orders. She said Thursday (Aug. 13th),

“I don’t know if it was because of the demographics of the city or if it’s because I’m a woman, if it’s because I called out Donald Trump. I have no idea. It could be all of the above or none of the above but it’s just—it was odd.”

Original Story (July 17th): Georgia governor Brian Kemp is reportedly suing Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the city council in order to block them from enacting tougher coronavirus restrictions and its mask mandate. Governor Brian Kemp filed a lawsuit that challenges Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’s July 10 decision to revert back to Phase 1 guidelines. The guidelines would include closing restaurant dining rooms and urging residents to leave home only for essential trips. It also challenges the city’s new mask requirements. Governor Kemp said in a statement,

“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 Georgia National Guard 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.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr also released a statement,

“The State of Georgia continues to urge citizens to wear masks. This lawsuit is about the rule of law. The Constitution gives Governor Kemp chief executive power for the State of Georgia, including during a public health state of emergency. The City of Atlanta cannot continue to knowingly enter orders that are unenforceable and void.”

Governor Kemp issued an executive order that said that face masks are encouraged but not mandated. The order specified that cities and counties can’t require the use of masks or other face coverings — because the ordinances superseded state law. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a press conference that she will still require people to wear masks in city owned buildings such as the airport and City Hall.

“It’s a simple thing to do. It’s an easy thing to do. We will continue to push and ask people to do it, despite the disagreements that we may have.”

She also said she wants to follow the advice of health care professionals and slow the spread of the virus,

“What health care professionals are telling us, is that they are being overrun in our hospitals and they are asking us to help slow the spread. What’s getting lost are the lies, and the reality that this is a pandemic.”

The Mayor took to her twitter to respond to the governor’s lawsuit,

“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. #ATLStrong”

She also posted,

What are your thoughts on Governor Kemp suing Mayor Bottoms? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Authored by: Chelsea Adjalla