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Attorney General Schmitt lawsuit challenges St. Louis Co. COVID-19 restrictions

Attorney General Schmitt lawsuit challenges St. Louis Co. COVID-19 restrictions

ST. LOUIS (KY3) – O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County’s COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, citing concerns about its impact Religion, education and the freedom of the residents.

The lawsuit, filed in the St. Louis County Circuit Court, names Democratic County Executive Sam Page, the county’s health department and its director, Dr. Faisal Khan. An injunction is requested to end the restrictions.

“From the requirement of a mask in the open air to the pre-approval of the citizens for private events by the government, enough is enough,” said Schmitt in a press release. “The seemingly endless control over people’s lives must stop. Vaccines are widespread for all adults – it is time St. Louis County lifted those restrictions, so I filed a lawsuit today. “

Page spokesman Doug Moore said litigation related to public health orders is common across the country. “St. Louis County has successfully defended all legal challenges related to public health orders. Our legal basis is solid. “

The lawsuit is the latest of several filed by Schmitt, who announced in March that he would seek GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2022. His announcement came weeks after incumbent Republican Senator Roy Blunt announced that he would not seek re-election.

In April 2020, Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the Chinese government over the coronavirus, claiming the nation’s officials were responsible for the global pandemic. In December, he joined multiple state lawsuits against Google and Facebook. And in December, he was among several GOP attorneys-general who joined the Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn former President Donald Trump’s loss of the election in November.

“We all know Mr. Schmitt is trying to raise his profile nationwide and suing those who protect the health and safety of residents is apparently one of the ways he has chosen to do so. Our focus is on vaccinating people and on economic recovery, ”said Moore.

Schmitt’s spokesman, Chris Nuelle, denied every political motive in the lawsuits.

“The attorney general serves all 6 million Missourians and is charged with protecting the rights and freedoms of those 6 million Missourians. If we find that the personal freedoms and freedoms of Missourians are being trampled, we will seek information and take action,” said Nuelle in an email. “He (Schmitt) does his job.”

Republican Governor Mike Parson allowed Missouri companies to reopen in May 2020, just months after the coronavirus pandemic. Stricter regulations have been enforced in St. Louis County, the city of St. Louis, and several other jurisdictions, including restrictions on indoor dining, masked mandates, and restrictions on gatherings. Nuelle said analysis of shutdown orders across Missouri found St. Louis County “by far the toughest.”

Schmitt wrote to Khan on April 20, asking him to explain the county’s continued restrictions. Schmitt called the district’s answer “vague and unresponsive”.

Earlier this month, both the city and county of St. Louis announced the easing of some restrictions, including lifting restrictions on the number of people allowed in restaurants and ending outdoor masking requirements. Schmitt’s lawsuit said it was not enough.

“Rather than providing significant relief to the residents of St. Louis County, the new Order replaces previous restrictions with vague, confusing, and self-contradicting guidelines that continue to unduly burden religious, economic, and personal freedom,” the lawsuit said.

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