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Missouri Attorney General Files Suit Against Kansas City Over Mask Mandate

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt today filed a lawsuit to halt the recently imposed mask mandate in Kansas City. The suit, which was filed this afternoon in Jackson County, argues that the mask mandate imposed is unreasonable, unconstitutional, and arbitrary and capricious.

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

  “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,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “I will always stand up for the liberties of the people of Kansas City and Missouri.”   The lawsuit incorporates seven counts, and asks the court to invalidate the mask mandate and issue injunctive or other appropriate relief.   The lawsuit argues that the Kansas City mayor, on July 25, 2021, previously stated that no mask mandate was needed, but then reversed course and in a July 27, 2021 tweet and a July 28, 2021 press release announced that Kansas City would be imposing a mask mandate. The lawsuit notes that in that two-day interim, there were no major changes in data for Kansas City, and no material change in any of the reasons listed by Kansas City for imposing a mask mandate, underscoring the lack of justification for the reversal and imposition of the mandate.   In its first count, the lawsuit argues that the mask mandate should be subject to the requirements of § 67.265, RSMo, which was put into place by recently passed and signed House Bill 270, placing limits on the power of health authorities to impose health orders.   The second and third counts relate to the imposition of a mask mandate on schoolchildren, stating that those requirements are unlawful and arbitrary and capricious. As the lawsuit notes, the risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 and transmission in schoolchildren is low, and requiring schoolchildren to wear masks is in fact harmful as it could hinder “verbal and non-verbal” communication and development.   The fourth count argues that the mask mandate is arbitrary and capricious, stating, “The Mask Mandate is arbitrary and capricious because it requires vaccinated individuals to wear masks, unless they know all persons present are fully vaccinated.”   The fifth count argues that the mask mandate is unlawful, stating, “the Mask Mandate is not an appropriate disease control measure and is not adequate to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”   The sixth count states that the mask mandate should be declared unconstitutional due to the vagueness of the order itself.   Lastly, the seventh count argues that Mayor Quinton Lucas, who issued the order, does not have the authority to do so under the regulation that authorizes public health orders since only the local health authority may issue public health orders. For this reason, the lawsuit contends that “the Mask Mandate was not issued by a person authorized to issue such orders, and it is therefore invalid and unlawful.”   The full lawsuit can be found here:   The Missouri Attorney General’s Office also recently sued St. Louis City and County over their mask mandates. Earlier today, a St. Louis County judge entered the temporary restraining order sought by the Office.