A federal appeals court has halted a lower judge’s order and kept closed gyms and fitness centers that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed months ago to curb the coronavirus.
"We sympathize deeply with the business owners and their patrons affected by the Governor’s Order," court documents read. "Crises like COVID-19 can call for quick, decisive measures to save lives. Yet those measures can have extreme costs—costs that often are not borne evenly. The decision to impose those costs rests with the political branches of government, in this case, Governor Whitmer. Her motion for an emergency stay is thus GRANTED."
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 late Wednesday to grant an emergency stay sought by the governor. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said last week that gyms could reopen at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Whitmer had planned to reopen gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys by July 4 if coronavirus case trends remain favorable. In less-populous northern Michigan, gyms and fitness centers got the green light on June 10.
“Today three Republican-appointed judges got it right: in the fight against a global pandemic, courts must give governors broad latitude to make quick, difficult decisions. The governor will continue to take the actions necessary to save lives,” Whitmer said.
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