July 15, 2020 — A growing number of Texas bar owners have filed lawsuits challenging Gov. Greg Abbot’s shutdown orders due to COVID-19.
Dozens of bar owners and private citizens in Travis County (which includes the nightlife hotspot of Austin, Texas) have filed lawsuits claiming the governor’s mandatory closure orders are unconstitutional.
One lawsuit was filed by Tee Allen Parker, who was forced to close her Machine Shed Bar & Grill and said that she didn’t “think it was right.”
Days later, more than 30 bar owners in the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance filed a second lawsuit.
The lawsuits seek to prevent Abbott from enforcing his executive order to close bars. They would also stop him from closing businesses without at least 24 hours’ notice “unless in the case of imminent threat of harm.”
On the morning of Friday, July 10, Abbott ordered bars to close by noon. He also ordered restaurants to reduce capacity back down to 50% from 75% to fight an surging outbreak of COVID-19 in Texas.