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Rep. Mike Johnson claims suit will be filed over Shreveport mayor’s mask order

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UPDATE: A lawsuit was filed Friday morning in Caddo Parish District Court naming five local businesses as plaintiffs in a suit that claims Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins does not have the authority to issue the order.

The petition asked for a temporary restraining order to block the mayor’s order from being enforced and a judge granted that request late Friday morning. Read more here.

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – U.S. Representative Mike Johnson says a lawsuit will be filed Friday to challenge Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins’ emergency order requiring everyone over two years of age to wear personal protective masks or face coverings over their nose and mouth in commercial and public buildings as well as places of worship.

Mayor Perkins issued the order after seeing an alarming rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. It went into effect on Wednesday and is set to remain in effect until midnight on August 8.

To view the Executive Order, click here.

The order also requires everyone to wear masks or face coverings when indoors in common areas, in outdoor public spaces where six-foot social distancing cannot be maintained and on all public transportation, paratransit, rideshare.

The order allows for businesses to be shut down and for water to be cut off for noncompliance. Businesses with licenses to sell alcohol could lose those permits if guidelines laid out in the order are not followed.

Rep. Johnson, a Republican who represents Louisiana’s 4th Congressional district, weighed in Thursday afternoon with a post on Facebook.

While municipal operations are outside the scope of my federal jurisdiction, I will answer here the question that I’ve been asked countless times over the past 24 hours concerning Mayor Adrian Perkins’ “MASK MANDATE” for Shreveport.

Although it is a good idea to encourage everyone to wear a mask, I do NOT believe the mayor has the legal authority to FORCE private citizens to do so.

Nothing in the Shreveport City Charter or the state statute cited in the Perkins Executive Order authorizes the mayor to unilaterally enforce a mask mandate, or to close down a business or church, or cut off its water service, if they do not fully comply.

A lawsuit will be filed tomorrow to challenge the mayor’s overreach, and the plaintiffs should easily prevail.

The maintenance of public health is critically important–but so is the defense of the CONSTITUTION.

U.S. Representative Mike Johnson 

Perkins responded less than an hour later with a brief post of his own.

“My only focus is on saving lives and preventing another shutdown. As mayor, I don’t have the luxury to sit in Washington D.C. and play political games Congressman Johnson.”

Johnson did not identify the plaintiffs expected to be named in the suit.

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