This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, May 23, 2020:
Within hours of a court’s ruling on Wednesday that Ohio’s Public Health Director Amy Acton had reached way beyond her authority in closing various businesses, including gyms and fitness centers, those businesses reopened.
And none too soon, according to Tim Cassell, the owner of Pinnacle Performance in Columbus: “I’ve got $250,000 worth of equipment sitting out there collecting dust … every day [we’re closed] means dollars [lost], especially when you’ve got none.”
The temporary injunction against enforcement came from a suit filed by the Cincinnati-based Finney Law Firm and assisted by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, representing 35 independent gyms statewide. The suit claimed that the series of orders from Acton violated numerous sections of the Ohio Constitution and constituted an illegal taking of private property.
Judge Eugene Lucci, in the Court of Common Pleas in Lake County, Ohio, didn’t mince words. As a result of Acton’s various orders, beginning in March and repeatedly amended since then, “The director has quarantined the entire people of the state of Ohio, for much more than 14 days [the normal incubation period for the COVID virus]. The director has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms, which she deems non-essential for a period of two months. She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable and oppressive manner, and without any procedural safeguards.”
Lucci wrote that those rights being violated are fundamental in Ohio: