Missouri AG sues over Kansas City mask mandate, calling it unconstitutional

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued Kansas City on Tuesday in an effort to end Kansas City’s mask mandate that took effect Monday. The lawsuit claims the mandate is unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Mayor Quinton Lucas, the Kansas City Health Department, and Director of the Kansas City, Missouri Regulated Industries Division Jim Ready are named in the suit.

The lawsuit argues that on July 25, Lucas said that the city didn’t need a mask mandate, but reversed that decision two days later. On July 28, the lawsuit states that the mayor tweeted and announced Kansas City would impose a mask mandate.

The lawsuit claims that there were no major changes in data for Kansas City over those two days, and therefore no reason to implement the mask mandate.

“We have issued up to this point more than 10 orders, the attorney general has never said anything, anything about our power to issue health orders,” Lucas said Tuesday. He has never said anything about our power in Kansas City to be able to keep the people of Kansas City safe.”

Lucas said the city issued the mask order because they wanted to keep Kansas Citians safe.

“We issued a mask order because we started to hear from businesses, conventions, conferences, that they weren’t comfortable coming to Kansas City and Missouri,” Lucas said.

“He claims that COVID-19 isn’t a serious risk to children. If he actually believes that, I ask every parent, in Kansas City, in Missouri and in Kansas, do you want your kid to fall sick with COVID-19? Do you want to just roll the dice because the attorney general thinks it’s a good idea and cited one blog resource? I don’t want that for my son and I don’t think there’s a parent in Kansas City who wants that for their unvaccinated child. That’s why we are going to do all we can to keep Kansas City safe,” Lucas said.

Schmitt asked the court to invalidate the mask mandate on seven different counts:

  1. The mask mandate should be subject to a recently-passed bill that limits the power of health authorities to impose health orders
  2. The lawsuit argues that requiring schoolchildren to wear masks is unlawful.
  3. It also argues that requiring schoolchildren to wear masks is harmful because it could interfere with communication and development
  4. Schmitt argues the mask mandate is arbitrary and capricious because it requires people who are vaccinated to wear masks unless it is known all people present are fully vaccinated
  5. The suit claims the mask mandate is unlawful because Schmitt says masks are not an appropriate disease control measure and is not adequate to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  6. The Attorney General argues that the mandate should be declared unconstitutional because the order is vague
  7. He also argues that Mayor Lucas does not have the authority to authorizes public health orders since only the local health authority are allowed to issue them

“Today, I filed suit against Kansas City to stop the imposition of a mask mandate on the people of the Kansas City region. This continued unconstitutional and unreasonable government overreach must stop, especially in the face of a widely available vaccine. Requiring schoolchildren to mask all day while in school is not based in science and is completely ridiculous,” Schmitt said.

Lucas responded to Schmitt’s suit Tuesday afternoon, speaking outside KCPD Headquarters.

“This, for us, is not about politics. This is not about power. It is not about control,” the mayor said. “It is about how we can save lives in Kansas City, in western Missouri and in our region. And the way we can do that is by listening to health experts, by listening to medical advice. It’s recognizing that two lawyers battling on Twitter doesn’t get us anywhere.”

Many health experts argue that there is data proving that mask wearing prevents the spread of a number of illnesses, including COVID-19.

Lucas went on to say he plans to ask the city council to vote on an ordinance to officially adopt the mask policy in the coming days.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office also sued St. Louis City and County over their mask mandates. Earlier today, a St. Louis County judge entered the temporary restraining order.

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