KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Thursday that he has filed a lawsuit against Jackson County for its mask mandate.
The lawsuit names Jackson County Executive Frank White and the Jackson County Health Department as well as other county officials.
Friday White released a response to Schmitt's lawsuit.
“From the beginning of the pandemic, I have taken action when it was necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents of Jackson County, regardless of the political repercussions. I remain committed to taking every necessary action to save lives, despite the Attorney General’s efforts to the contrary.”
White announced on Aug. 4 that he would issue an indoor mask mandate that started on Aug. 9.
Schmitt's suit asks for injunction, which would prevent the county from enforcing the mandate, "or any other relief that the court deems proper," according to a news release from his office.
The suit said that the county "has imposed an unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious mask mandate that is not supported by the data or the science," according to court documents.
Schmitt has also sued St. Louis city, St. Louis County and Kansas City over their mask mandates. In the case against St. Louis County, Schmitt did receive a win when a circuit court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the county on Thursday preventing it from enforcing its July 26 mask mandate.
The attorney general has cited government overreach as his reasoning for filing his lawsuits against the counties and cities.
“Jackson County’s mask mandate is yet another attempt by government officials to obtain, aggregate, and maintain power. Requiring residents to wear a mask, especially in the face of a widely available vaccine, is ridiculous,” Schmitt said. “My office will continue our fight against government overreach and intrusion.”