Gov. Ducey's decision to extend bar closure prompts lawsuit

Bars around Arizona are moving ahead with their lawsuit against Governor Doug Ducey, despite a number of organizations stepping up in defense of Gov. Ducey's decision to extend an order that closes bars.

With the extension of the Governor’s orders to keep bars closed,
those businesses are more frustrated than ever, but they are confident in their petition because they say the constitution is on their side.

“it is crushing to these bar owners. They have been closed three months out of the year now," said Illan Wurman, an associate professor at Arizona State University's law school He is representing the businesses in the lawsuit.

In all, there are 26 bars across Arizona that are suing Gov. Ducey for his executive order.

"They are angry, and some are devastated," said Worman. "Some have said we are going to have to risk opening, because who cares if we close our liquor license? We will close down anyway."

The bars are suing on the grounds that it is unconstitutional for the governor to have legislative authority to make laws, and add that it is unconstitutional discrimination to close bars, while leaving restaurants with bars, wineries, and others open.

In response to filing their petition, a number of organizations have filed briefs in support of Gov. Ducey, including the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, and the Arizona Board of Regents.

In the brief from AZDHS, they say bars are especially unsafe during this pandemic.

"All I have to say is bring it on," said Worman. "It doesn’t matter how many organizations join Ducey in this lawsuit. We have the constitution on our side, and that’s all we need."

Gov. Ducey, meanwhile, says his extension is following guidelines, and he wants to build on the momentum of the downward trend the state has been seeing. As for the lawsuit, the bars have until Thursday, July 30 to reply. The Supreme Court can then decide to accept jurisdiction.