PHOENIX - A judge in Arizona has made in ruling in a lawsuit over the closure of gyms in Arizona amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On August 4, a judge at the Maricopa County Superior Court ruled that Gov. Ducey has a week from August 4 to lay out a process for fitness centers in Arizona to apply for reopening, ruling that the executive orders, as implemented, violated procedural due process, but that the orders do not violate substantive due process.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, procedural due process is defined as "a course of formal proceedings (such as legal proceedings) carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles," while substantive due process is defined as "a judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual."
Judge refuses to stay August 4 ruling enforcement
On August 7, a judge with the Maricopa County Superior Court rejected a motion by lawyers representing Gov. Ducey to stay the enforcement of the ruling made on August 4.
In the written ruling, the court stated that the court's ruling on August 4 upheld Gov. Ducey's executive orders.
"There is nothing preventing the Executive Branch from enforcing those orders and preventing the spread of the coronavirus. The only thing that this Court’s Order did was require a modicum of due process to aggrieved parties," read a portion of the ruling. "It is not the function of the judiciary to second-guess policy decisions on matters of public safety. It is, however, the duty of the judiciary to ensure that Constitutional safeguards are honored."
The ruling also states that complying with the court's order will not cause irreparable injury.
Gymgoer reacts to closure
"I miss the escapism," said Tom Okrie. "I miss getting to the gym and crushing out a workout. There’s nothing like crushing a workout and getting home with that post euphoric workout feel.”
While Okrie is working out at home currently, he hopes Mountainside Fitness can open soon
Earlier in the week, Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten sounded confident doors would open soon.
“it said the Procedural Due Process was not followed, and needed to be," said Hatten at the time. "The ability for all businesses to be closed for this amount of time is not something we’re prepared to do in this country.:
"Mountainside is going to be open [August 11], and I’m going to be in line at 4:30 a.m.,” said Okrie.