Big Tyme Investments v. Edwards
Big Tyme Investments v. Edwards (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, January 13, 2021): The appellate court found that a July 2020 COVID-19 emergency order issued by Louisiana’s Governor prohibiting on-site consumption of alcohol and food at bars (while allowing on-site consumption at restaurants) did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. Multiple Louisiana bar owners argued that the order unconstitutionally treated bars and restaurants differently. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals explained that a classification is not unconstitutional simply because “in practice it results in some inequality.” The classification, based on a business permit, did not differentiate on the basis of a suspect class. Consequently, the differential treatment was at least rationally-related to reducing COVID-19’s spread in higher risk environments. Read the full decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – February 16, 2021.