Columbus Bridal Shop Challenges Ohio's Stay-At-Home Order In Federal Court
The owner of a downtown Columbus bridal shop is taking Ohio’s health director to court over the statewide stay-at-home order.
Tanya Hartman owns Gilded Social, an appointment-based bridal shop in Columbus. She filed a federal complaint arguing the shop can assist clients while maintaining social distance and proper sanitation.
She says the state’s stay-at-home order is too vague and deprives businesses like hers due process to present their cases for operating safely.
Hartman’s complaint asks the judge to declare Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton’s order to close “non-essential” businesses unconstitutional and provide damages.
Hartman is being represented by Maurice Thompson of the libertarian group 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. He says the government can't choose which businesses are essential.
“Many frivolous things are up and running and exempt by government, like marijuana, like liquor, like the lottery, like car washes," Thompson said.
Thompson said the state needs to hold hearings where businesses deemed non-essential can prove they can operate safely.
“Look, we can operate our business with social distancing, six feet apart, gloves, masks, Purell, whatever it takes – there are many businesses that are currently shut down that can prove in a hearing that they should be allowed to open," said Thompson.
Thompson said the state's Dispute Resolution Commission is offering hearings to county health departments, so that’s not adequate.
In its response, the state insists there’s a nearly 200-year-old U.S. Supreme Court precedent upholding the right of states to set and enforce quarantines.
A federal judge will hear arguments Monday morning regarding Hartman's motion to temporarily lift the stay-at-home order while the case proceeds.
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