Georgia governor backs out of hearing on Atlanta mask order

Georgia governor backs out of hearing on Atlanta mask order
In this Dec. 4, 2019, file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp takes questions from the media at the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta. (Source: AP Photo/Elijah Nouvelage/AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s governor says he’s withdrawing a request for an emergency hearing in a lawsuit that aims to block the state’s largest city from ordering people to wear masks in public or imposing other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesman for Gov. Brian Kemp announced late Monday that the Republican wanted “to continue productive, good faith negotiations” with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City Council.

A hearing on Kemp’s request had been scheduled Tuesday before a state court judge. The Republican governor argues local leaders cannot impose measures that are more or less restrictive than those in his executive orders.

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