Attorney General opinion on Memphis City Council mask mandate

Today I requested an opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General on an ordinance adopted by the Memphis City Council requiring face masks to be worn in certain public places and businesses.

The ordinance makes it a public nuisance, which is a Class C Misdemeanor, to fail to wear a face covering in public. It passed the city council last night by a vote of 9 to 4. Once the minutes of the meeting are adopted as final, the ordinance will go to Mayor Jim Strickland for his signature.

The Memphis City Council mask mandate raises serious constitutional questions. I think it would be prudent for the state Attorney General to weigh in on this issue before the ordinance becomes final.