Attorney calls Gov. Greg Abbott's bar closure 'unconstitutional' - FOX34 Lubbock

Attorney calls Gov. Greg Abbott's bar closure 'unconstitutional'

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12 bar owners across the state are suing Governor Abbott over the abrupt closure of their establishments. Jared Woodfill represents the owners and says their argument is strong. 

"Specifically, there is a provision called Article 1 Section 28 which says only the legislature can suspend laws. We feel like the Governor is violating the equal protection clause of the state constitution. He's picking and choosing winners and losers," Woodfill said. 

Along with requesting ten million to cover their losses, the bars want the court to issue a restraining order while the case moves through the courts. That way, the bars could stay open. 

Stephen Hamilton, a criminal defense attorney, says if the case has a chance it'll be because of the disproportionate look. 

"When you look at someone who makes 51% in income at their establishment from alcohol, they're shut down. Someone who makes 50% from the sale of alcohol and 50% from food, they're good to go. They can remain open, still sell and still make a living," Hamilton said. 

Hamilton quoted The Supreme Court in regards to the Governor's potential protections. 

"Just because we're going through health concerns or a pandemic does not mean the constitution takes a back seat to the issues," Hamilton said. 

Woodfill hopes this sets an understanding for the future. 

"I think the precedent we're setting now for this series of cases is important for how we handle future pandemics." 

A hearing is expected either or next week. Woodfill says he doesn't anticipate reaching a settlement and plans to go to court. 

 

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