HomeHealth Care NewsFederal Judge Rebukes Michigan's Governor for Keeping Gyms Closed

Federal Judge Rebukes Michigan’s Governor for Keeping Gyms Closed

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney ruled on June 19 the state of Michigan had no scientific basis for keeping gyms closed under  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency lockdown of commerce and other gatherings throughout the state in response to the coronavirus.

On June 24, a federal appeals court ordered gyms to remain closed until an appeal on the matter is heard.

The following are excerpts from Judge Maloney’s decision in League of Independent Fitness Facilities and Trainers, Inc, et al., v. Gretchen Whitmer and Robert Gordon.

“Defendants cited to the preambles of the Executive Orders and vaguely stated that indoor gyms are a ‘petri dish’ of infection, but Defendants could not point to any facts in the record to support that statement. Defendants emphasized the low bar: all that needed to be presented was a reasonably conceivable set of facts that connected the continued closure to protecting the public health. But when asked, even counsel was unable to state a rational basis to support the position that indoor gyms must still be closed.

“If Defendants can open or close any sector of the economy, at will, with nothing more than a vague reference that it is ‘dangerous,’ the potential for abuse is palpable. To be sure, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated parts of the country and the state and containing the transmission of the virus is crucial. Activities that are dangerous should be avoided, for the public health. But after more than 90 days of closure, the scientific knowledge of the virus has grown, and Michigan has made great gains in containing the pandemic. At this point, the bare assertion that gyms are dangerous is not enough to demonstrate a ‘real or substantial’ connection to public health, nor is it a set of facts establishing rational basis to justify their continued closure.”

AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

spot_img

Most Popular

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Recent Comments