Ivey likely to extend mask order despite lawsuit
That suit claims governor overstepped her legal bounds when she ordered face coverings be worn.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVY) -Alabama Governor Kay Ivey will likely extend her order making face coverings mandatory, unswayed by a lawsuit challenging her authority.
Filed Thursday in federal court, that suit claims Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris overstepped legal bounds when they ordered masks be worn. Also challenged in that lawsuit are other controversial restrictions issued in response to coronavirus, blamed with about 2,500 deaths in the state.
Governor Ivey’s office views the lawsuit as grandstanding. “This is another attempt to garner some press attention. We, on the other hand, do not use media as our first means to respond to ongoing litigation,” said Press Secretary Gina Maiola.
The five plaintiffs are represented by Roy Moore, an ousted Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who unsuccessfully sought to become governor and U.S. Senator. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday.
A Montgomery County judge last month dismissed a similar lawsuit filed in state court.
White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, on Thursday, claimed the number of COVID cases in Alabama began declining two weeks after Ivey ordered face coverings in July.
“The governor is pleased with our state’s progress in terms of COVID-19 and reminds everyone to keep at it,” Maiola said in her statement.
The Alabama Constitution gives Ivey broad authorities during emergencies.
Her current order expires Friday.
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