Federal judge upholds Louisiana bar closures

Gregorio Santana
August 17, 2020
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Judge Martin L.C. Feldman in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana upheld restrictions on bars in the state as part of its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana.


Several southeastern Louisiana bar owners challenged Gov. John Bel Edwards’ July closure order in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. The businesses challenging the order were located in Houma, Slidell and Marrero, including 4 Aces Enterprises, Big Daddy’s Pub and Grub, Bottoms Up, Larussa’s Lounge, Double Hill Bar and Grill, Just One More, LongShotz, Jeaux’s New Horizon, Ram Rod’s Saloon, The Boxer & the Barrel, and The Outer Limits Bar. Jimmy Faircloth, attorney for the bar owners, argued that the bars were denied their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection under the law.


Gov. Edwards released the following statement:


“I am pleased that Judge Feldman upheld bar restrictions, which is one of the critical mitigation measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana to protect and save lives. The evidence is clear that mask mandates and closing on-site consumption at bars work, and more than a month after implementing both measures in Louisiana the data shows they are working.”


“My orders are consistent with my authority and also with recommendations of public health experts and President Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, which puts Louisiana in the “red zone” for new cases and “yellow zone” for testing positivity rates and recommends bar closures as part of the strategy to slow the spread of this illness. We have already lost more than 4,400 Louisianans to this illness, and we must take every action we can to fight for the health of our state. I know these orders are hard on business owners, and I did not undertake them lightly. However, they offer the best shot for us to be able to open as much of our economy as possible while still keeping the ability to provide life-saving health care in our hospitals.”