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Binford v. Chris Sununu


Restrictions on Gatherings. Binford v. Chris Sununu (Merrimack Superior Court, New Hampshire):  On March 17, 2020, a day after Governor Sununu prohibited gatherings of more than 50 individuals to prevent the spread of COVID-19, individuals in New Hampshire filed a lawsuit. They alleged the Governor’s order violates the state constitutional ban on martial law and infringes on their federal and state constitutional freedoms of religion and right to assemble. The complaint also alleges the Governor cannot meet the burden of showing an “emergency” under state law because “[p]resently, many more people die from, are diagnosed with, or hospitalized with the flu than Covid-19.” The Governor filed an objection on March 19,  2020, generally arguing that their claims lacked merit. The court agreed, dismissing the lawsuit on March 21. An opinion is expected soon.  

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – April 2, 2020.