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Arkansas asks judge to dismiss lawsuit over virus mandates

A group of 18 legislators sued this month over the restrictions, which include a mask mandate and capacity limits for bars and restaurants.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a group of Republican legislators challenging the state's coronavirus restrictions. 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office said in a filing Tuesday that the restrictions are valid under a 1973 law on disasters and under rules approved last year by the Legislature. 

A group of 18 legislators sued this month over the restrictions, which include a mask mandate and capacity limits for bars and restaurants.

They argue the restrictions require legislative approval. 

Arkansas has had at least 74,772 coronavirus cases and 1,209 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began. 

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