Pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 52.12, Jackson County has filed a motion today to intervene in the Robinson vs. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) lawsuit and stay the judgment issued by the Cole County Circuit Court pending resolution on appeal or the court’s reconsideration of the judgment. The motion, filed in conjunction with St. Louis County, seeks to preserve the regulations that have enabled local public health authorities to address all matters of public health, not just COVID-19.
The filings specifically state that “in a single proceeding, this Court upended the longstanding public health framework in the State of Missouri, failed to consider relevant law and went far beyond the relief requested.” Additionally, the filings say the court’s November 22, 2021 judgment has created great confusion during a significant public health crisis, which heavily favors both counties’ request to stay the court’s decision.
Jackson County and St. Louis County both argue that chaos now reigns in the state with respect to the administration of public health. Few public health officials, local government leaders and school boards have any idea what they are legally permitted to do or are legally prohibited from doing. As a result, officials from both counties assert that they cannot sit idly by in dereliction of their statutory and regulatory duties to protect the public health by preventing the spread of diseases in their communities.
Despite the desire of DHSS to appeal the court’s decision, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is abdicating his duty to do so, instead electing to embark on a campaign of litigation terror against local governments and schools throughout the State. The citizens of Missouri deserve better and that is what this motion seeks to do.