Grisham v. Romero, et al.
Grisham v. Romero, et al. (New Mexico Supreme Court, August 4, 2020): The court dismissed claims brought by several New Mexico businesses (e.g., a restaurant, gym, massage parlor, diner, and auto part store) suggesting that Governor Lujan Grisham lacked authority to set civil administrative penalties under the state’s Public Health Emergency Response Act for violations of restrictions on business operations and mass gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Act the New Mexico legislature clearly authorizes the Governor to address “violations of restrictions on mass gatherings and business operations contained in emergency public health orders.” The businesses further argued that by shutting them down, the Governor effectively took their private property without just compensation. The Court found no merit in these alleged “taking” violations. Governor Grisham can issue specific orders temporarily closing businesses. A full decision from the court is forthcoming. Read the initial opinion here.