Arkansas lawmakers sue over state’s coronavirus restrictions

September 3, 2020 | By ANDREW DeMILLO | AP News | Source

“LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A group of Republican lawmakers in Arkansas filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the state’s mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions, even as the state reported one of its highest one-day increases in virus cases and deaths.

The 18 lawmakers asked a judge to rule that the Health Department’s directives issued since the pandemic began are invalid. They argue the orders require legislative approval.

“This is a serious illness. Why would we not include the Legislature?” said Rep. Dan Sullivan, one of the lawmakers who filed the suit. Sullivan said the lawsuit was funded by money raised by two groups, the Northeast Arkansas Tea Party and Reopen Arkansas, which opposes many of the virus restrictions on businesses.

Arkansas was among a handful of states that didn’t issue a stay-at-home order, but it has dozens of other restrictions in place that include the mask requirement and capacity limits on bars and restaurants.”

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