Kemp Files Emergency Order to Stop Mayor From Talking

Mish

A major battle is brewing in Georgia over the Governor's reopening plans.

On Wednesday, Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order that banned cities and counties from ordering people to wear masks in public places.

Kemp voided orders on Wednesday that at least 15 local governments across the state had adopted even though Kemp had earlier said cities and counties had no power to order masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor has instead been trying to encourage voluntary mask wearing, including telling fans that reduced infections from mask-wearing would make college football season possible.

Kemp's move is likely to infuriate local officials in communities that had acted, including Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Rome and the governor's hometown of Athens-Clarke County. Overall, mask orders by Wednesday were covering 1.4 million of Georgia's more than 10 million residents.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson was the first local official to defy Kemp and order masks, and had said police would start writing $500 citations to businesses that didn't enforce the law.

Governor Kemp Does Not Give a Damn About Us

Mayor Bottoms says Gov. Kemp is trying to block her from talking to the press

Georgia in the Red Zone

Time reports Georgia is in the Red Zone. 

On July 10, Bottoms said in a statement that she rolled back reopening measures “[b]ased upon the surge of COVID-19 cases and other data trends, adding that “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences.”

Georgia was one of the first states to reopen parts of its economy at the end of April and it has seen a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. On Thursday, Georgia was included in a list of “red zone” states compiled by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, meaning Georgia has more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people last week, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. On Friday, Georgia reported 3,908 new cases of the virus and 28 confirmed deaths, according to the state’s department of health. As of Friday afternoon ET, Georgia had at least 135,192 confirmed cases in total, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.

Why Raging in the South

Georgia New Covid Cases 

Georgia New Covid Cases 2020-07-19

Lawsuit Debate

Cathy Cox, the dean of Mercer University School of Law, says she believes Kemp could win because of the structure of local government in Georgia. Municipalities have broad emergency powers under Georgia law, Cox explains, but that same law says that cities cannot use their powers to do anything that is “inconsistent” with an order issued by the governor. “Cities don’t have a lot of wiggle room to do things beyond what the legislature says they can do,” she says.

Clark Cunningham, a professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law, explains to TIME, and state governments typically win. However, Cunningham explains that Kemp’s order is built upon his emergency powers, which give him authority to “take action to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Georgia’s residents and visitors to ensure COVID-19 remains controlled throughout this State.”

Kemp’s suit is unique, Cunningham says, because Bottoms could feasibly argue that the order preventing her from mandating face masks is contrary to Kemp’s declaration of a public health emergency. Therefore, in Cunningham’s opinion, to win, Kemp should have to argue that “preventing the mayor from requiring the wearing of masks ensures that COVID-19 remains controlled.” If the court agrees with this principle, Kemp may well lose the case, Cunningham says.

Kemp’s suit also asks the court to place a gag order on Bottoms that would prevent her from telling the press that “she has the authority to impose more or less restrictive measures that are ordered by Gov. Kemp related to the Public Health Emergency.” A judge might be hesitant to place such a gag order because it could violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, Cunningham says.

Legal Debate vs Battle for Public Opinion

Courts may rule anything including invalidating the entire order, parts of the order, or sending it back to be better worded.

The battle over public opinion is a different matter. 

Kemp Follows Trump's Playbook

  1. Georgia's Covid Improvement was a Big Lie by the Governor
  2. Trump Downplays Outbreak as Sniffles and Burning Embers

Kemp is following the Trump playbook hook, line and sinker. 

That is a losing policy, no matter what the courts rule.

Mish

Comments (44)
No. 1-14
Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

People laughed when Gray Davis got recalled in California and asked why a state would recall its governor. Some states probably wish they had such a provision now.

Realist
Realist

It's one of the few things Trump is good at: filing lawsuits or getting others to file them and in the process sowing hate and division in the country. He visits Georgia, and instructs the cowardly governor to sue the black, female, democratic mayor, who just might be a VP candidate. Notice Kemp didn't sue the other mayors. Just Bottoms. Kemp is an ass-kissing coward.

And Trump is slowly destroying the country.

Worst President ever.

AshH
AshH

Kemp is owned by Trump. Trump gets in hot water for violating the mask law at the Atlanta airport, so he gets Kemp to nullify the law. This is the only explanation that makes any sense to me for this madness.

Montana33
Montana33

Funny how Republicans are only for free speech when it's them speaking. This idiot Governor has turned Mayor Keisha Bottoms into a national superstar. HE OPENLY AGREES WITH HER THAT MASKS SAVE LIVES... and then he effectively tries to kill people. Wow. She just wiped the floor with him. If he wins in court then she wins and if she wins in court then she wins. Kemp is outmatched by Bottoms the way Trump was outmatched by Wallace.

ToInfinityandBeyond
ToInfinityandBeyond

No wonder this country’s Covid numbers are the worst in the world.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

What?!!? more evidence members of the GOP are idiots? Shocked...shocked! We seriously need viable third parties before America blows itself up.

STDENVERST
STDENVERST

Confused. Is this backwards?

Shouldn’t it be “disagrees”

“ Therefore, in Cunningham’s opinion, to win, Kemp should have to argue that “preventing the mayor from requiring the wearing of masks ensures that COVID-19 remains controlled.” If the court agrees with this principle, Kemp may well lose the case, Cunningham says.”

KansasDog
KansasDog

What is up with these republican guys they think they can outsmart a pandemic and put profits first or what?

tokidoki
tokidoki

Kemp is angling to be Vice President, but Pence has quietly done a pretty decent job in my opinion. He doesn't defy the President openly, because we all know that it will only set Trump off, but he supports many of the governors.

I mean you expected worse from someone who had bungled a public health crisis before.

Anda
Anda

In absolute terms, you cannot judge if for a given circumstance wearing masks would or has saved lives. It isn't only that the evidence is sometimes contradictory, but that in reality you would have to have two exact mirror populations with one wearing masks and one not, and afterwards (which already defeats the object) take count.

You could say it is common sense to wear a mask instead, but being dictated to implies that is not an option either.

Oh well, maybe we will get more studies on the worth or not worth of masks into the bargain.

Common sense is to wear one for now though where possible, where it seems wise to.

tokidoki
tokidoki

Not sure if people are following what's been happening in Portland, but one day Kemp is going to call on our newly created Gestapo units to arrest Mayor Bottoms, and that's pretty much it for this country.

JustDaFactsJack
JustDaFactsJack

I used to have some sympathy for the Trump true believers, but it is really becoming increasingly clear that it is a cult. The anti-mask stuff is absolute insanity, and I've stopped caring about their concerns and issues as a result.

Someone who has no regard for the right of vulnerable people not to be intentionally exposed to a deadly pathogen has no right demanding empathy from others.

Mayor Bottoms is not to be trifled with. Kemp will rue the day he picked a fight with the mayor of the city that pays his entire state's bills. He also will be haunted by his actions as the virus ravages the people of Georgia and the hospital system collapses -- both he and Trump will have an awful reckoning on their respective election days.

Even elderly Republican voters are realizing they don't matter to the Trumpites and their deaths are "collateral damage" for the Trumpites power play. And now the "pro life" party that screeches about "murder" when someone dislodges a fertilized egg in a uterus wants to send kids into school to get mass infected and suffer long term health problems that are already documented but still not fully known.

Hillary was wrong when she called them deplorable. They're utterly depraved. Anyone still supporting this government is flat-out depraved.

RonJ
RonJ

"Governor Kemp Does Not Give a Damn About Us"

Who does? Supposedly some 50 million people have filed for unemployment as a result of the state shutdowns. State governors have deliberately destroyed their livelyhood. We have no idea yet as to the what the extent of damage will be from doing this to the American people.

Masks

Karl Denninger: "Note that every one of those health-care workers had masks on when anywhere near someone who might be contagious. It did nothing and they got hammered anyway. These are trained professionals. If it didn't work for them it's factually going to be useless for you, which incidentally is exactly what 14 Random Controlled Trials say about masks and viruses -- they don't work."


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