A group of bar owners in Texas filed lawsuits Monday in an attempt to revoke Governor Greg Abbott (R) ‘s order to close their businesses in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus as cases at the state peak.
Lawsuits filed in Austin, Houston and Galveston allege that Abbott does not have the authority to make such an order and claim that he specifically targets bars, while other businesses, such as tattoo parlors and parlors, may remain open, The Associated Press reported.
The bar owners reportedly said Abbott should call the legislature for a special session to address the problem.
“Governor Abbott continues to act like a king,” Jared Woodfill, an attorney for bar owners, told the AP. “Abbott is unilaterally destroying our economy and trampling on our constitutional rights.”
The Hill contacted Abbott’s office for comment.
Abbott announced an order Friday to reimpose some restrictions as the number of cases in the state increased. The order requires bars to close before noon on Friday and eat at restaurants, allowing them to operate at 50 percent of capacity.
Several states have halted reopening plans amid spikes, but Texas was the first to reimpose the restrictions that had been lifted.
Over the weekend, Abbott expressed regret at allowing the bars to reopen.
“If I could go back and redo something, it probably would have been reducing the opening speed of the bars, now looking at how fast the coronavirus spread in the bar setup,” he said in an interview last week with KVIA in El He passed