A handful of upstate New York restaurant owners have joined together and filed two lawsuits against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over an indoor dining ban that was put in place on December 14. The ban was not based on any science and had forced thousands of restaurants to keep their facilities closed unconstitutionally.
The first lawsuit argues that the indoor dining ban violates the protection of the 14th Amendment and is seeking $2 billion in damages over NYC’s first indoor dining ban while the second lawsuit argues that the ban should be overturned based on the basis of the due process clause and the First Amendment.
The lawsuit, filed by 40+ plaintiffs, identifies that bars and restaurants account for only 1.42% of COVID-19 cases in contact-tracing data. If a cost-benefit analysis determines that restaurants are safe, then there’s no means of justifying an industrywide shutdown without a rationale, scientific basis. Government-mandated shutdowns have permanently closed doors on thousands of restaurants, bars, and cafes nationwide.
Most restaurants, bars, cafes, and other eateries in New York have been operating in the “orange zone” meaning indoor dining is prohibited while other counties are considered a “yellow zone” and can permit indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurant owners have been finding it hard to watch their customers walk by and go eat in countries with less restrictive coronavirus measures.
“It’s losing a holiday season. Everywhere else in our district and everywhere around us basically are operating fully and [are] having the best season of their careers, and right around the corner from us it’s the same way,” said Santora’s Pizza Pub and Grill restaurant owner Paul Santora.
Steve Cohen, one of the lead attorneys in the case, called the lawsuit a ‘constitutional crisis’ against governors who are not following the orders of the court. He talked about Cuomo’s disastrous record during the pandemic, particularly referencing the time he held houses of worship to a stricter standard than other essential businesses.
“It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques,” Cohen said.
Small business owners have used the lawsuit to warn Gov. Cuomo that restaurant culture will slowly deteriorate in New York City soon if they don’t lift the ban on indoor dining. Cuomo has been widely criticized for seeing worse coronavirus outcomes than any other state and is being recognized with an Emmy award for it. Nice to see liberals honoring the original “grandma killer.