JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt continued his fight against mask mandates on Thursday when he filed suit against Jackson County’s recently extended indoor mask mandate.
Schmitt argues the county order is “unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious” and named Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr., the County Health Department and other health officials in the lawsuit.
“[The mask mandate] is another example of local bureaucrats and governments treating people as subjects not citizens,” Schmitt said. “It’s not about science for them, it’s about control.”
Schmitt, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has also been vocal about the negative effects long term mask requirements could have on the development of children’s social skills.
The legal challenge comes after Jackson County health officials received vast public criticism for reinstating the indoor mask mandate earlier this month. The directive requires everyone 5 years of age or older to wear a mask in all public indoor places, regardless of vaccination status.
In accordance with a new state law limiting local health orders, the mask mandate will be in effect until Sept. 8 unless deemed unlawful by the court.
Schmitt has been passionately challenging mask mandates in court recently, citing individual liberty as a priority. After being granted a temporary halt on St. Louis County’s mask mandate earlier this month, a judge sealed the deal for Schmitt and definitively blocked the mandate on Thursday.
The Attorney General’s office also has a pending suit against Mayor of KC Quinton Lucas and other city health officials after the City Council voted to extend their mask mandate to Sept. 23.
“Jackson County’s mask mandate is yet another attempt by government officials to obtain, aggregate, and maintain power,” Schmitt said. “Requiring residents to wear a mask, especially in the face of a widely available vaccine, is ridiculous. My Office will continue our fight against government overreach and intrusion.”