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Missouri's attorney general drops lawsuit against St. Louis County over COVID-19 restrictions

Schmitt voluntarily dismissed the suit Thursday
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. Schmitt announced Wednesday, March 24, 2021, that he's making a bid for retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt's seat. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri's attorney general, Eric Schmitt, has dropped a lawsuit he filed last month against St. Louis County over its COVID-19 restrictions then in place.

Schmitt, who also is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, voluntarily dismissed the suit Thursday, 5 On Your Side confirmed. County officials accused Schmitt of using the lawsuit to "increase his profile statewide." County Executive Dr. Sam Page, a Democrat, and Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan had also been named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed May 11 in St. Louis County Circuit Court, had, among other measures, targeted restrictions it said violated religious liberties and freedom of association, such as an outdoor mask mandate for events and a mandate that organizers get health department approval for plans involving events, including large events held outside.

Schmitt's legal action essentially became moot after the county on May 14 lifted health orders requiring masks and social distancing in public in keeping with new federal guidelines that had been released earlier that week. The county had lifted occupancy restrictions for businesses May 3.

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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