LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following her decision to appeal Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox’s decision blocking Act 1002, the state law barring public entities from mandating face masks.

“I will appeal the decision of Judge Fox which blocked Act 1002 from going into effect,” Rutledge said. “For nearly seven years, I have always exercised my constitutional duty to represent the state of Arkansas and will continue to wholeheartedly defend state laws to protect Arkansans of all ages.”

On August 6, Fox temporarily blocked Act 1002. The act bars local governments from mandating face masks.

Tom Mars, the attorney who initially filed the lawsuit that led to the injunction, responded with a statement:

After seeing the number of school districts that adopted mask mandates this week, including several in conservative strongholds – and having heard Dr. Cam Patterson warn that “some kids will die” without mask mandates – I would have thought the General Assembly would set aside partisan politics for a moment and let school districts do what they must to keep children from dying.

Instead, we received a Friday afternoon overdose of political grandstanding by three of our state’s highest public officials – all vying for attention at the expense of every K-12 child in Arkansas. I haven’t witnessed anything more disgusting since the Josh Duggar hearing.

Tom Mars