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Gov. Kay Ivey gave an update on the Coronavirus during a press conference Thursday March 4, 2021 in Montgomery, Ala. (HAL YEAGER/GOVERNORS OFFICE)

Health

Alabama Supreme Court upholds dismissal of lawsuit over mask order

The justices wrote that the plaintiffs failed to provide proof that they’d been injured as a result of the mask order.

The Supreme Court of Alabama on Friday upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that Governor Kay Ivey’s statewide mask mandate was illegally adopted.

Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin in August dismissed the lawsuit, filed by Debbie Mathis, a real estate agent, and retired sheriff’s deputies Larry Lewis and Barry Munza, which alleged that the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955 does not give the governor the ability to order Alabamians to wear face masks. 

“The plaintiffs have failed to allege any ‘specific concrete facts’ demonstrating that they have suffered an ‘actual’ injury as the result of the July 15 proclamation adopting the amended health order that required masks or facial coverings to be worn when within six feet of a person from another household,” the state’s Supreme Court justices wrote in their Friday order. 

The justices wrote that the plaintiffs’ complaint failed to note a single allegation that one of them had been specifically threatened with the enforcement of the mask order. 

“Further, the plaintiffs’ complaint contains no allegations about how the facial-covering requirement is being enforced, to the extent that the requirement is being enforced at all,” the ruling continues. 

Ivey on March 4 announced she was extending her statewide mask order, but would allow it to expire on April 9, citing declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. 

While she said she would allow the order to expire on April 9, Ivey stressed that she would continue to wear a mask herself after her order is lifted. Even with declining COVID-19 numbers, public health experts are encouraging people to continue to wear masks to help reduce the spread and warn that more contagious coronavirus variants continue to circulate.

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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