DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of bar owners in Dallas, Terrell and Austin filed a $1 million lawsuit this week after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to close June 26.
They argue his executive order violates the Texas Constitution and the Texas Disaster Relief Act.
Dallas bars STIRR, Citizen Uptown, Tiny Victories, High Fives, Island Club and The Whippersnapper were all forced to close, along with Play On West in Austin and The Side Street Bar in Terrell.
Calling the bar shutdown order “arbitrary, capricious and lacking any rational relationship to any legitimate state interest,” they are suing.
Their lawsuit alleges:
Since the coronavirus pandemic struck this great state, Defendant Abbott has issued series of disparate, inconsistent, arbitrary and scientifically unfounded orders that have not just handcuffed the legitimate efforts to fight the pandemic, but have exacerbated the problem by giving the citizenry of this great state the false impression that legitimate, well-reasoned, scientifically proven efforts have been, and are, being undertaken to ease the threat that this pandemic poses. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The lawsuit also points out that no one in the stand alone bar business was chosen by Abbott to represent the industry on his Texas COVID Taskforce.
It also questions why so-called “affiliated bars” located within hotels weren’t forced to close.
The bars owners also requested that the court issue a temporary restraining order against Abbott prohibiting him or TABC from enforcing his executive order to shut down their businesses.
CBS 11 News reached out to the governor’s office and are awaiting a reply.