Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

A group of individuals and business owners has sued governor Tim Walz over his statewide mask mandate for indoor spaces.

On Thursday in Ramsey County District Court, the suit challenges the mask wearing requirement, with an argument that it infringes their right under the state constitution and imposes an undue burden on business owners.

The group is requesting in their lawsuit that Walz, state Attorney General Keith Ellison and Dakota County Attorney James Backstroke either show it is consistent with state law or end enforcement of the mandate.

Governor Walz is facing several lawsuits over the mask requirement, including the one imposed in July to prevent the spread of coronavirus and others to strike down the requirement in churches and at polling places.

The Upper Midwest Law Center organization filed the latest legal challenge, with the aim of limiting “governmental special interest and public union outreach.”

The group noted that the mandate violates residents’ personal liberties because it subjects people to risk of prosecution from Ellison’s office and city or county attorney, even though the science around mask effectiveness remains debatable.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent has recommended wearing of face coverings because they help protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

State health officials said earlier this week that Minnesota has recorded a decline in COVID-19 cases due to a major factor of mask mandate.

One of the petitioners, Elizabeth Berg said the rule makes it “impossible” for business owners, who must ensure people who have medical exemptions can visit their business.

State Attorney General Keith Ellison has responded to the past suits, saying that he stands behind Walz’s executive orders that protect the health of Minnesotans from the worst deadly pandemic the world has ever seen in a century.

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