Aug 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Georgia governor to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaking on Aug. 10.

Gov. Brian Kemp speaking in Atlanta on Aug. 10. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced Thursday he plans to withdraw a lawsuit that sought to block Atlanta’s face mask mandates and coronavirus restrictions, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Why it matters: The decision to withdraw the lawsuit ends the legal feud between Georgia's Republican governor and Atlanta's Democratic leadership, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Other Georgia cities will be able to keep their mask mandates in places for now, per AJC.

Yes but: Kemp said he plans to instead sign an executive order over the weekend that will prevent municipal governments from ordering private businesses to require masks.

  • The upcoming order is likely to override an executive order Kemp issued in July that barred cities and counties from making face masks mandatory in public.

What they're saying: “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,” Kemp said, according to AJC.

  • “Given this stalemate in negotiations, we will address this issue in the next executive order. We will continue to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”

The big picture: Kemp's withdrawal comes as the state reports increased coronavirus cases and deaths.

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