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Music Festivals Sue Dr. Amy Acton

Festival goers crowd surf at the Rock On The Range Music Festival at Mapfre Stadium on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Columbus.
Amy Harris
/
Invision/AP
Festival goers crowd surf at the Rock On The Range Music Festival at Mapfre Stadium on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Columbus.

Former Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton is facing a lawsuit from the organizers of two summer music festivals, who argue their events should be able to take place.

Organizers of the Bellwether Music Festival in southwest Ohio and the Country Fest in northeast Ohio say their events are a form of First Amendment expression and should be able to take place, despite the state's continued ban on large events to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Curt Hartman, lead attorney on the case, says that while the directive exempted expressions of free speech, parades, fairs and festivals were explicitly prohibited, which creates an unfair pecking order.

"So basically this has, to her own decree, created her own pecking order of what is and what is not allowed under the First Amendment," Hartman said.

He is hoping for a resolution within a few weeks.