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In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council with the Superior Court of Fulton County.
“Local governments, such as the City of Atlanta, do not have the ability or the authority to regulate and control the state of Georgia,” the lawsuit states. “As the Mayor of the City of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms is charged with implementing the terms of the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders within the city; Mayor Bottoms does not have the legal authority to modify, change, or ignore Governor Kemp’s Executive Orders.”
Kemp’s filing arrives shortly after Mayor Bottoms in a press conference Thursday said she would continue to enforce her mask mandate even after the Governor’s office “suspended” it by way of a renewed Executive Order Wednesday.
“This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times,” Kemp said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Mayor Bottoms later tweeted a response to Kemp’s lawsuit saying, “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 [Gov. Kemp] for a mask mandate. A better use of taxpayer money would be to expand testing and contact tracing.”
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]