Governor Wins Second Case

Challenging Coronavirus-Related Executive Orders

April 30, 2020 - 4:30 pm
Governor Ralph Northam provides an update on coronavirus efforts on March 19, 2020.  (Governor's Facebook Page)

(Governor's Facebook Page)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia judge has rejected a petition from a gym owner who sought to reopen his facilities despite an executive order requiring the closure of fitness centers and other nonessential businesses.

At a hearing Thursday, the judge said Virginia law gives the governor broad authority to issue executive orders during a public health emergency.

Merrill Hall owns multiple gyms in the state (including Henrico and Chesterfield) and sued the governor in Culpeper County Circuit Court. He said the governor exceeded his authority and that the closures have him on the brink of financial ruin.

Virginia Solicitor General Toby Heytens argued that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s orders are reasonable considering the public health threat.

Hall plans to appeal.