A new lawsuit filed in federal court Friday challenges the authority of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the state’s public health officials and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to decide which businesses are “essential” and “non-essential” with regard to business closure orders and the state-imposed lockdown over the coronavirus scare.
The Dhillon Law Group and Geragos & Geragos filed the federal lawsuit Friday on behalf of a coalition of “nonessential” small businesses located in Southern California claiming the shelter-in-place orders are unconstitutional and that they should be allowed to open while staying within federal guidelines for social distancing.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Gondola Adventures Inc., Hernandez Productions, Inc., King’s Pet Grooming, Inc., Sol De Mexico, Inc., Wildfire Inc., Ybanz Gonzalez Inc., and Yreka Food Enterprises, LLC, named the following defendants Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Director and State Public Health Officer Sonia Angell, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, and more.
“We’ve got small businesses that have been effectively put out of business or forced to close literally without rhyme or reason,” said Geragos & Geragos principal, Mark Geragos. “Our country was built on the premise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and today in 2020 those freedoms are being stripped away from law-abiding citizens and businesses without rational thought or a rational basis. We filed this action to enforce the Constitution and ask that our Public officials do the same.”
“Several weeks into this COVID-19 shutdown, we are thankful to learn that California is faring significantly better in battling this crisis than some other states. But California is facing a looming economic crisis of tsunami proportions if we don’t get our state back to work, safely and and with prudent health precautions to avoid infection spikes,” said Dhillon Law Group, Inc. managing partner, Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban). “Different localities are making up different rules, picking business winners and losers, creating an increasingly chaotic and irrational patchwork of regulations that change by the day and don’t keep up with what we now know about the science and the spread of this disease.”
“Even during the Civil War and prior pandemics, suspensions of liberty were limited and tailored to the specific risks at hand. With no attempt at narrow tailoring or even a rational basis to allow some businesses to operate but not others, and no process by which to make these determinations, California’s and Los Angeles’ ongoing business shutdowns fail basic constitutional tests, and must be altered to reflect the changing reality,” said Dhillon.
The case was filed on April 24, 2020 in United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.
Read the lawsuit HERE.