A circuit court judge has declared a Missouri law that enables local health departments to issue public health orders unconstitutional and is ordering officials to lift such rules.
The ruling by Cole County Judge Daniel Green calls into question the future of mask mandates and other local health orders created to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“Missouri’s local health authorities have grown accustomed to issuing edicts and coercing compliance,” Green wrote in his ruling. “It is far past time for this unconstitutional conduct to stop.”
The judge’s ruling comes in a lawsuit that a group of St. Louis-area residents and business owners filed against the state Department of Health and Senior Services to challenge such orders.
The Missouri law in question allows state health officials or local health departments to “create and enforce orders” to limit the spread of disease. Green ruled that the law violates the state’s constitution, which gives separate powers to different branches of government, and that elected officials should be the ones to issue such mandates. (Read more from “Judge Rules Local Missouri COVID-19 Orders Unconstitutional” HERE)
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