BREAKING: Lawsuit Filed Over Michigan Order Banning Indoor Dining

Nov 17, 2020

In this Thursday, May 21, 2020, image, Stephanie Byrd, co-owner of The Block, poses for a photo with chairs on the tables while the restaurant is closed due to the coronavirus in Detroit.
Credit (AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services order banning indoor dining service. The order was issued following a surge in COVID-19 cases in Michigan. 

Just hours before another shutdown, the association filed suit to try to stop a ban on indoor dining. It's an attack on the latest restrictions from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration in response to a wave of coronavirus cases. The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association says it made “several good-faith efforts” to reach a compromise with the state health department before the policy was announced Sunday night. The group said its members could have further reduced risk while keeping their dining rooms open. The indoor dining ban kicks in after midnight. The lawsuit claims the order violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause and due process rights.

In addition, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is ordering high schools and colleges to stop in-person classes, and stopping organized sports — including the football playoffs — in a bid to curb Michigan’s spiking coronavirus cases. The restrictions will last three weeks. They are not nearly as sweeping as when the governor issued a stay-at-home order last spring, but they are extensive. An order written by the state health department also limits indoor residential gatherings to no more than two households, restricts outdoor gatherings to 25 people and closes entertainment facilities such as theaters and indoor water parks.