3 north Alabamians suing governor, state health officer over mask mandate

Updated: Jul. 28, 2020 at 10:56 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - Three people in Jackson County are suing Gov. Kay Ivey and state health officer Scott Harris.

Barry Munza, Larry Lewis, and Debbie Mathis say the leaders’ mask mandate violates the law and their personal freedoms.

Their attorney, Seth Ashmore, says the case revolves around this.

“The main question is going to be whether the governor, under the Emergency Management Act of 1955 has the ability to mandate somebody wear a mask,” said their attorney, Seth Ashmore.

Ashmore says the order was illegally adopted and is therefore unenforceable.

The state responded to this as a “threadbare assertion,” saying the 1955 act does empower the governor to mandate a mask.

Munza says the mandate just violates his personal freedoms.

“If I want to wear something, then it should be my right to wear it or not. It shouldn’t be someone else dictating it to me. As an ex-vet, I was always told in the military that we’re fighting for freedom and the rights of others, so I’d like to know why mine’s being taken away,” he said.

In the state's response, they note the pandemic has required dramatic steps to protect public health.

“There has been nobody, like legislative body, that has debated that issue and come to that specific answer,” said Ashmore.

The mask mandate is set to expire July 31.

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