CLAYTON, Mo. – A St. Louis County judge could rule soon on a request to reimpose a controversial countywide mask mandate. Details are emerging from our partners at the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
The mask mandate was front and center during a two-hour court hearing Wednesday before Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo. The Post-Dispatch reports that Ribaudo said she would rule on the issue as quickly as possible.
Neal Perryman, an attorney representing St. Louis County, argued that the mask mandate should be allowed to move forward after the county council voted on August 27th in favor of a resolution supporting a 30-day extension of the order.
Missouri’s Solicitor General John Sauer disagreed saying that the original mask order issued back on July 26th had been permanently and indefinitely terminated when the county council voted to rescind it the next day. Sauer also pointed to part of a state law that says that local public health orders expire after 30 days if they don’t get approval from local governing bodies.
The mask mandate in St. Louis County has been controversial for a while. It was originally announced by County Executive Dr. Sam Page And required anyone five and older to wear masks in indoor public places and on public transportation. The county council voted five to two to revoke it saying Page should have come to them first and that state law gives them the power to override public health orders.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt also sued the county calling the mask mandate unconstitutional. Judge Ribaudo sided with Schmitt stopping the order from being enforced.
Now the county says the judge should lift her order and throw out Schmitt’s lawsuit since the county council has expressed support for the mask mandate.