New Mexico Supreme Court justices will take up the question of whether Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and her administration officials can prohibit indoor dining at restaurants through a public health order, or if the prohibition enacted last month was impulsive and without basis. Acting Chief Justice Barbara Vigil set oral arguments in the case for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26, according to court records filed on Wednesday. The issue at the heart of the case is a July 13 amended state public health order from the Governor. Citing an increase of Covid-19 cases in New Mexico, state health officials re-implemented a ban on indoor dining, further stressing the already struggling industry.
After the re-implementation of the indoor dining ban, the New Mexico Restaurant Association and several business owners filed a lawsuit in state district court naming Lujan Grisham and Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel as parties. The lawsuit sought a restraining order that would have kept the prohibition from taking effect. NM restaurants are struggling to remain in business through the pandemic and the sometimes sudden closures implemented by the state. With summer drawing to a close and the window for outdoor dining shrinking, the decision from the supreme court is critical to the survival of many restaurants. Read more HERE.