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Lawsuit over St. Louis mask rules sent back to state court

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled on Sunday that state courts should handle a lawsuit to overturn St. Louis-area mask mandates.

Judge Stephen Clark of the Eastern Missouri U.S. District Court sent the case back to state court, saying that the mask-mandate challenge primarily deals with state laws.

Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, filed the lawsuit last week in state court in hopes of blocking the new mask mandates in St. Louis city and county, which took effect last week.

Attorneys for the city and county later asked a federal judge to take up the case instead.

But Clark ruled that the issue deals with state laws on local health orders almost exclusively. He said local judges should be the ones to decide the case.

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