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Coronavirus

Federal Judge Throws Out Challenge to Alabama Mask Mandate

December 16, 2020

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s mandatory face mask mandate, which opponents claimed is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins dismissed the lawsuit calling it a “shotgun pleading” that makes a lot of accusations without organization or solid legal claims. Health officials have credited masks with lessening the impact of the coronavirus.

The mask order, which was first imposed in the summer and extends at least through Jan. 22, requires people over age 6 to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when it’s not possible to stay at least 6 feet away.

The lawsuit was filed by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on behalf of state residents against Gov. Kay Ivey and the state health officer claiming the mask rule is unconstitutional. The judge allowed three weeks for a replacement lawsuit.

Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law denied Watkins’ criticism of the lawsuit, saying another version of the complaint would be filed.

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