BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–It’s a setback for local business owners who tried to push back on COVID restrictions.
Their motion for court intervention has been denied.
This is one of the first legal challenges to the power that Governor Cuomo has with Executive Orders during the pandemic. But at least this judge, Federal Judge William Skretny makes it clear that at this point, it would not be appropriate to interfere with those powers.
“They are struggling. They’re barely able to keep their lights on.”
Attorney Steven Cohen filed the civil papers seven weeks ago seeking relief for nine businesses who challenged the Governor’s authority to impose mask requirements and capacity limits on their bars strip clubs and bowling alleys. But the motion was denied in a 50 page ruling in which William Skretny writes; “Weakening the state’s response to a public health crisis by enjoining it from enforcing measures….to stop The spread of Covid-19 is not in the public interest.”
“What this Governor’s seen fit to do is to impose the will of government and to usurp legislative power and stop the economy from proceeding. That’s intolerable,” Cohen said.
Steven Cohen has indicated he’ll take this to the next level, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals if necessary. But for now, Judge Skretny concludes that Cuomo’s executive orders are temporary and; “While it is no secret that reasonable minds can and do differ over what measures might be most effective and desirable in the fight against Covid, there is little debate in this forum. It is for the state to determine and implement, with wide latitude, such emergency measures as it deems reasonably necessary to protect the public welfare.”