The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the U.S. economy for nearly two months and the situation has been particularly bad here in New Jersey.
In an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus, Governor Phil Murphy issued a series of executive orders in mid-March, closing down businesses deemed nonessential.
Dealership service departments were deemed essential in the early days of the crisis and remained open. Dealers were also allowed to conduct online sales and, just a few days ago, were allowed to reopen showrooms “by appointment only”.
But dozens of others business sectors, representing huge swaths of the New Jersey economy, are still waiting to have their restrictions loosened.
The New Jersey Republican Party has taken up their cause and, yesterday, filed a lawsuit against Gov. Murphy, alleging he’s violating the rights of small business owners who have been forced to close their shops during the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit states “The governor’s classification of some businesses as essential, and others as non-essential, is completely arbitrary, capricious, and wholly disconnected from the proffered purposes of health and safety.”
The three-count lawsuit alleges the governor’s executive orders violate the state constitution’s equal protection clause and due process rights and seeks to allow businesses to reopen and prevent similar future orders.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on the state’s economy, with more than 1 million New Jerseyans having filed for unemployment insurance since mid-March. The Garden State economy won’t be able to begin a full recovery until all businesses are allowed to safely reopen to serve their customers.
You can review the Complaint HERE.