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Economy

Restaurants Sue To Try To Stop New Whitmer Ban On Dining

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Just hours before another shutdown, a Michigan restaurant association sued Tuesday to try to stop a ban on indoor dining, attacking the latest restrictions from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration in response to a wave of coronavirus cases.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association said it made “several good-faith efforts” to reach a compromise with the state health department before the three-week policy was announced Sunday night. The group said its members could have further reduced risk while keeping their dining rooms open.

Without court intervention, the ban on indoor dining could lead to the “outright devastation” of restaurants and their thousands of employees, said Justin Winslow, the association’s president.

The lawsuit asks a federal judge in western Michigan to grant an injunction allowing indoor dining and declare the health department’s order unconstitutional.

The lawsuit claims the order violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause and due process rights.

Other plaintiffs are Suburban Inns of Hudsonville, which owns hotels and restaurants, and Heirloom, a Detroit-area restaurant group.

Michigan’s seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases has more than doubled from 3,113 to 6,684 over two weeks. It is up nearly five-fold from 30 days ago.

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