MICH. — Judge Paul Maloney of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan issued a ruling that upheld Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order of closing indoor movie theaters.
The case was brought by a company that currently operates Emagine Theater in Royal Oak.
“Today, the court concluded what we already know: that we must continue taking aggressive action against COVID-19, including limiting large gatherings, to protect Michigan families and save lives,” Whitmer said. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat in Michigan, and the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis are counting on us all to do our part. That means wearing a mask while in public, practicing safe physical distancing, and staying away from large social gatherings.”
The court also maintained that the governor’s order protects First Amendment rights during the pandemic.
“It takes only a moment of rational speculation to discover conceivable support for the continued closure of indoor movie theaters,” the court said, given the heightened risks of COVID-19 infection that come with “large, sustained, indoor gatherings.”
“I will continue doing everything in my power to protect our families and frontline workers from this virus,” Whitmer said.
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