Tom Mars continues to threaten, but has not yet filed, a lawsuit challenging the state law banning mask mandates.
But he has written Attorney General Leslie Rutledge notifying her of his intention to seek a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement of Act 1002 while a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality proceeds.
The new law is a sloppily drafted, likely unconstitutional, contradictory mess. Among new problems cited by Mars is its ban on all state officials from mandating masks. Many judges around Arkansas are requiring masks in their courtrooms, in seeming violation of the law. Constitutionally, Mars argues, the legislature can’t dictate operation of the courts.
Mars has also submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the governor’s office for documents related to the law, including correspondence from legislators. The FOI law exempts “working papers” of the governor from disclosure and governors have traditionally taken a very broad view of that exception. Don’t ask, don’t get, is Mars’ response to that.