Gov. Roy Cooper is being sued again over his executive orders.
This time it is in North Carolina state court by owners of gyms and fitness centers for not allowing them to reopen under Executive Order 141, which allows restaurants, breweries, wineries, parks and many other businesses closed by previous executive orders to reopen.
The successful lawsuit filed by two churches was filed in federal court claiming that the First Amendment rights were being violated. In that case, federal District Court Judge James Dever vehemently agreed with the churches and in his official order made light of some of legal arguments made by Cooper’s attorneys.
This case by gym owners argues that their rights under the North Carolina Constitution are being violated.
In particular Article 1, Sec. 1, which states in part that people have the right to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor and the pursuit of happiness.”
And Sec. 19, which in part states that “No person shall be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the law of the land.”
Cooper regularly repeats at his press conferences that his decisions in dealing with COVID-19 are based on science and facts. But in this case, Cooper and his team have not provided the science and facts for keeping gyms and fitness centers.
Director of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen has said that people breath heavier in gyms and fitness centers and are therefore more likely to transmit the disease, but she has not offered the public facts or data to support this theory.
She also said that people in gyms and fitness centers are less likely to wear masks, but once again she offered no data to support this assumption.
The gyms and fitness centers in Georgia have been open for almost a month, so some data about the actual spread of the virus at gyms should be available.
The lawsuit states about one of the plaintiffs, “Many of their clients have serious medical conditions which are treated by exercise.”
The lawsuit states about another plaintiff, the owners of a martial arts studio, which also falls into the gym and fitness center category, “Many of their students have special needs, including autism, and have been referred by their physicians to take the training at the martial arts studio. The training these students receive helps with their special needs.”
The lawsuit requests a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction.