A Panola County attorney has filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Tate Reeves over his executive orders resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michael Herrin claims have Governor Reeves’ executive orders have “systematically stripped the Plaintiff and all of the citizens of the State of Mississippi of the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.”
The lawsuit says the actions of Governor Reeves by use of the executive orders are in violation of the restricted authority granted by the Emergency Management and Civil Defense Act and were overly broad. Herrin claims the orders were not properly tailored, arbitrary and capricious at their inception, and patently unconstitutional under the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Herrin lists each of the Governor’s executive orders before challenging the idea of “flattening the curve,” opining that, “We are now into the sixth month since the Governor issued his Shelter in Place Order. What might have been necessary half a year ago is clearly no longer supported by the State’s own data.”
The complaint also challenges the notion that the mortality rate from COVID-19 justified the Governor’s executive orders. “Mississippi’s Covid-19 death total does not justify the authoritarian imposition of what is essentially martial law,” Herrin writes. He goes on to asset that the easing of restrictions in some counties, and not in other counties, is not rational but rather “an arbitrary exercise” of the Governor’s executive power.
Herrin is seeking declaratory judgement to rule the executive orders unconstitutional, as well as a permanent injunction to prohibit the Governor from enforcing the orders.
Read the full filing below.