Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is trying to keep her from speaking to the press in the midst of what has become a legal tug-of-war between their two offices over the coronavirus response.
In a tweet sent out Sunday (July 19), Bottoms showed a request for an injunction aimed at keeping her from making statements to the media regarding COVID-19.
Bottoms wrote: “In addition to being sued over a mask mandate and voluntary advisory guidelines on COVID-19, @GovKemp has asked for an emergency injunction to “restrain” me from issuing press statements and speaking to the press. Far more have sacrificed too much more for me to be silent.”
According to Atlanta station WSB-TV, it’s the latest move in the contentious battle between the two politicians over wearing masks in public.
After a recent spike in cases and deaths, Bottoms rolled back reopening guidelines in Atlanta, but the state filed a lawsuit July 10 challenging her plans.
The mayor said that because COVID-19 cases were increasing, restaurant dining rooms should be closed and masks should be worn in public. But Kemp’s response was a statewide order banning mask mandates. He said Bottom’s order would hurt businesses.
On Thursday (July 16), Kemp filed a lawsuit against bottoms and the Atlanta CIty Council. In her tweet, Bottoms said that part of Kemp’s suit was an emergency injunction to keep her from speaking to the media.
Kemp in the suit, requests in part that the courts:
“Issue an interlocutory and permanent injunction to restrain Mayor Bottoms from issuing press releases or making statement to the press, that she has the authority to impose more or less restrictive measures than are ordered by Governor Kemp related to the Public Health Emergency.”
Appearing on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” Sunday morning, Bottoms criticized Kemp’s behavior as “bizarre.”
"The governor has done many things as of late and said many things as of late that, quite frankly, are simply bizarre," Bottoms said. "He filed a 124-plus-page lawsuit against me this week calling for an emergency injunction to stop me from speaking about his orders. If the governor of this state had his way, I would not be allowed to speak with you today. And so this blame game is most unusual."
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