Legal fight over bar closures continues in Louisiana
LAFAYETTE (AP) — The legal battle over the closure of Louisiana bars to curb COVID-19 moved to a second federal courtroom Monday as an attorney for 11 bars in the southwestern part of the state asked a judge to let them open.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who issued the order last month, planned to testify in the hearing before U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays in Lafayette.
The hearing took place three days after a hearing for 10 bar owners in southeastern Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman heard arguments in that case in New Orleans and said he would rule as soon as “reasonably possible.”
The lawyer for bar owners in both cases is Jimmy Faircloth, who served as executive counsel in the administration of Republican former Gov. Bobby Jindal, The bar owners contend that the bars were closed without constitutional due process or equal protection under law.
At the heart of the arguments has been whether statistics support the closure of bars while restaurants that contain bars are not closed.
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