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Orlando bars ask judge to let them reopen by deeming state's shutdown order unconstitutional

Posted at 5:57 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 09:25:07-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — Several Downtown Orlando bar owners are spearheading a lawsuit against the state's order closing down bars and breweries amid coronavirus concerns. The virtual court hearing is via zoom on Tuesday, August 18 at 9:15 a.m.

They have filed a motion for a temporary injunction against the state's order demanding they close down. These bar owners, alongside John Dill, an Orlando attorney, will also ask the court to rule that order unconstitutional.

The lawsuit is requesting a temporary injunction to open bars and breweries right away, and ultimately rule the order to close them unconstitutional.

“My clients have never said 'hey let’s get rid of all of the guidelines.' In fact, it’s just the opposite. They want to be good citizens, they just want the opportunity to do it,” he said.

Many breweries agree they were diligent in practicing CDC guidelines when they were open.

“Social distancing, required masks, hand sanitizers, cleaning procedures that are amped up a little bit more than usual,” said John McMahan, owner of Right Around the Corner Brewery in St. Petersburg.

Dill says there hasn’t been any evidence to show bars and breweries are the culprits for the spike in cases.

“It’s really not fair that a few doors down, there is a restaurant and it’s full of people and there’s really no data or nothing that indicates that the serving of food somehow prevents the spread of COVID-19,” said Dill. “We’ve seen these bars were shut down in June and the cases continue to go up so the Governor can’t sit here and say 'Well, we had to do it and here’s why.'”