Attorney General files suit against St. Louis County Executive over COVID restrictions
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, Dr. Faisal Khan, and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health regarding COVID-19 restrictions in St. Louis County.
“Three weeks ago, I sent a letter to St. Louis County asking for an explanation and evidence justifying the County’s extreme restrictions on St. Louis County residents. The County’s response was vague and unresponsive. Just several days later, the County rushed to amend their shut-down order in an apparent attempt to appease this Office and avoid litigation. It has not,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “From requiring a mask outdoors to subjecting citizens to government pre-approval for private events, enough is enough. The seemingly unending control over people’s lives must end. Vaccines are widely available to all adults – it’s past time for St. Louis County to lift these restrictions, and that’s why I filed suit today.”
The lawsuit argues that the latest shut-down order continues to “impose unjustified burdens on religious, economic, and personal freedom. The Order reflects arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable government action by refusing to consider important aspects of the problem and refusing to consider less restrictive alternatives that are reasonable under the circumstances.”
However, the lawsuit states that the new “Reopen STL” order continues to “impose significant restrictions on personal and religious freedoms, and it contains many provisions that are arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, vague, and self-contradictory.”
The suit brings eight counts against St. Louis County – two counts related to religious exercise, one count alleging violation of freedom of assembly for requiring government pre-approval for events, one count alleging that the latest order is vague and should be declared void, and four counts alleging St. Louis County’s Order is arbitrary and capricious for failing to give meaningful consideration to negative impacts of the Order, for failing to consider less restrictive alternatives, for failing to provide criteria for lifting restrictions, and for broadly unreasonable substantive restrictions.
The suit asks the court for an injunction or other appropriate action related to the claims brought.