Omaha mask mandate: City, state attorneys file arguments

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson joined Gov. Pete Ricketts in proclaiming January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:36 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Attorneys for the City of Omaha filed court documents Wednesday explaining why they believe they’re right when it comes to the Nebraska Attorney General’s lawsuit fighting the Omaha mask mandate.

The city’s lawyers argue that Omaha has broad authority to enact ordinances, rules, and regulations because it has a metropolitan classification, especially when it comes to the health of its residents.

The city also argues that just because the City Council took previous action doesn’t mean the city health director cannot act now.

The city writes that based on the AG Doug Peterson’s argument: “The health director retains the authority to do anything and everything to address a pandemic but could never impose a mask ordinance. This is an extremely tortured interpretation of the law of preclusion.”

Meanwhile, in new court documents filed by the Attorney General, his team argues that Omaha cannot find one example where the city health director has imposed an infectious disease control measure and therefore proves their point that Dr. Huse doesn’t have that power.

Attorneys for the state also argue the mask mandate must be stopped now because the oversight and power of the Nebraska health director has forever been damaged.

A judge will hear the arguments in court on Monday.

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