The issue of whether or not to wear a face mask maintains as one of the leading and most controversial points in the COVID-19 saga.
Several governors and other elected officials across the nation mandated face masks; this includes Democrats and Republicans alike. Compulsory face-covering orders have subsequently led to lawsuits, public demonstrations marking opposition, and even multiple sheriffs across America who outrightly refuse to enforce these orders.
In Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp has not mandated face masks. Instead, Kemp has gone on a “Wear a Mask” tour and pushed for Georgia residents to voluntarily put on face coverings.
Many Georgia residents are pleased to be free of a face mask mandate; however, some are not. This has prompted certain mayors and other local officials to mandate face masks in their own cities; however, such mandates violate Governor Kemp’s executive order and are hence legally unenforceable.
Yesterday, the office of the Georgia governor reminded the state that local mask mandates cannot be legally upheld, confirms sources.
Why Are Local Mask Mandates Unenforceable in the Peach State?
Following reports that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms tested positive for coronavirus, she took it upon herself to sign an executive order mandating Atlantans to wear face masks while out among others. Athens, Savannah, and East Point are other cities that have passed ordinances demanding masks.
Ultimately, no local mask mandates in Georgia are enforceable for one simple reason: in Governor Kemp’s executive order, he bars local governments from passing orders that are more or less austere than his own. By this very nature, that suspends local executive orders that “require” mask-wearing.
To keep our friends and neighbors safe from COVID-19, we have to do our part. It's time to mask up, Georgia! #gapol pic.twitter.com/QHKr6eOyzt
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) July 9, 2020
Kemp’s office released a statement to remind Georgians of this. Per the official statement, “all of the local mask mandates” cannot be enforced. The governor’s office also confirmed that Kemp will continue asking Georgians to “wear a mask voluntarily.”
Will Kemp Take Legal Action to Block Local Mask Mandates?
Thus far, the Georgia governor has made no indication that he will act legally to stop mask mandates in Atlanta or other areas that have passed unenforceable ordinances.
However, law enforcement officials cannot legitimately uphold any of the face mask “requirements” in local areas. The executive orders from the Georgia governor do and will continue to override executive orders and ordinances from local Georgia officials.
The first four pages of the City of Atlanta’s Mask order from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms…However the office of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says it can’t happen. #Atlanta #mask #Headlines @mikeb_news pic.twitter.com/lQ59M1hftW
— blackeducatedandbroke (@bebpodcast_atl) July 10, 2020
On paper, certain locals in Georgia may appear “required” to wear face coverings; in actuality and in a court of law, there is no bearing to enforce the order from the Atlanta mayor or any other local officials.
Are you glad that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has not mandated face masks? Do you believe in optional masking or forced masking? Let us know down below in the comments section.