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Gov. Kemp withdraws motion for emergency hearing in COVID battle with Atlanta mayor

The governor's office suggested that the decision follows the mayor now saying publically that "Phase 1" restrictions are voluntary.

ATLANTA — The officer of Gov. Brian Kemp has confirmed to 11Alive that he is withdrawing his motion for an emergency hearing on Tuesday morning amidst an ongoing quarrel with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

The two were supposed to meet in court on Tuesday. But late Monday night, the governor's office released a statement saying they were happy with the mayor's explanations that "Phase One" recommendations were voluntary.

The governor's office said it was a concession by the mayor and that they are withdrawing the motion in good faith. 

"To continue productive, good-faith negotiations with city officials and prepare for a future hearing on the merits of our legal position, we will withdraw our motion for the emergency hearing tomorrow," the note stated.

The update comes after a tumultuous few weeks of what had been escalating tensions between Georgia's governor and the mayor of the state's largest city.

The latest note from Gov. Kemp's office suggests the impetus for the uproar was the forced shuttering of specific businesses and "penalizing law-abiding business owners" in a way that could cause economic harm.

The governor's office has decreed, through executive order, cities were not allowed to create rules that were more strict than those set out under the state's current COVID-19 guidelines.

However, Mayor Bottoms has also pointed to another portion of the governor's restrictions on city decisions that suggested they couldn't impose a mask ordinance on the city and openly defied it.

11Alive has reached out the Mayor Bottoms for comment following Kemp's decision.


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