Kansas’ highest court has kept intact a law that allows people to sue counties over mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions, and obtain quick trial-court decisions.

The Kansas Supreme Court declined to consider whether a law requiring trial-court judges to rule on such lawsuits within 10 days is constitutional.

While the justices split 5-2 over the reasons, they were unanimous in concluding that a Johnson County judge had no business striking down the law in a case that dealt with another legal question.

The court’s sidestep left in place a law seen by conservatives in the Republican-controlled Legislature as an important check on local officials’ power.

The court’s majority and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who defended the law, strongly hinted that the law remains vulnerable to a future legal challenge.

“The Legislature may also wish to thoughtfully review the concerns expressed, though improperly in this case, by the district court,” Schmidt said.