Updated: July 14, 2020 08:38 PM
Created: July 14, 2020 04:46 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The New Mexico Restaurant Association and a handful of other dining establishments filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, accusing her of singling out the restaurant industry by banning indoor dining.
The lawsuit requests a temporary restraining order, which would stop the governor from carrying on with her new public health order.
The lawsuit accuses the governor of arbitrarily choosing the restaurant industry to shut down without facts, data or research showing that restaurants are contributing to the uptick of COVID-19 cases in the state.
They point to a chart published by the state health department. The risk of indoor seating is listed as a level-6.
However, hair salons and barber shops and riding buses are also at level-6, but are still permitted to operate.
Last Thursday, the governor explained her decision to shut down indoor dining.
"I think the indoor dining issues are significantly risky," she said. "Restaurants, through no fault of their own, just don't have the right systems, even at 50% to mitigate and you don't have masks on to mitigate transmission."
The lawsuit goes on to state that more than 200 restaurants in New Mexico have been forced to permanently close. The plaintiffs believe the governor's new order will cause more closures.
A court hearing on the lawsuit has not been scheduled yet.
Statement from the governor's office:
The law is clear that the state is empowered, if not obligated, to take action to save the lives of New Mexicans in the face of a public health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic. It is abundantly clear that those life saving actions taken by the governor and this administration to slow the spread of COVID-19 are within the scope of the law. - Nora Meyers Sackett, press secretary for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company