Bar Owners Respond To Ducey In Executive Order Lawsuit

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(Photo by Tim Evanson/Creative Commons)

A group of Arizona bar owners, through their attorney, ASU Professor Ilan Wurman, have filed a response to a challenge of their lawsuit by Governor Doug Ducey. The 64 bar owners, from across the state, are suing Ducey in response to his Executive Order 2020-43 which has kept bars, nightclubs, gyms, water parks, and theatres closed.

The bar owners filed a request for Special Action in the Arizona Supreme Court earlier this month. Wurman expects the Court to decide soon whether the case will be heard or not.

The nondelegation doctrine remains the centerpiece of the Special Action. According to the Legal Information Institute, “non-delegation doctrine is a principle in administrative law that Congress cannot delegate its legislative powers to other entities.” In this case, it is not Congress, but the Arizona Legislature that Wurman argues cannot delegate its power.

Wurman says “whether or not it desires to do so and whether or not the Governor chooses to call them into session,” the Legislature is able to convene. By not calling for a Special Session of the Legislature, the state’s legislators have delegated their power to Ducey.

Ducey’s attack on small business owners is supported by big business; to date, six amici briefs have been filed by mostly large corporate interests in support of Ducey’s exercise of power.

Wurman suggests in the lawsuit that the disparate treatment of businesses who hold either a Series 6 or Series 7 liquor license, compared to businesses who hold Series 3, 12, 14, 18, 19, or 11 licenses, is discriminatory.

In fact, Wurman makes clear that discrimination is “hard to ignore,” with over 4,000 restaurants that serve alcohol and carry certain licenses still operating, while the 2,100 series 6 and 7 licensees are forced to keep their doors closed.

In his press conference on Thursday afternoon, Ducey noted that EO 2020-43 won’t see a review by his administration for another week. While he may delay a review, the Supreme Court just might not.

Updated July 31 6:06 a.m.

About Steve Rivera 12 Articles
Steve Rivera has covered Arizona men’s basketball for more than 25 years, most recently for and For two decades, he covered UA for the Tucson Citizen, who in 2000 basketball analyst Dick Vitale named Steve one of the top 16 college basketball writers in America in his first and only list. Rivera has covered 17 Final Fours, three NBA Finals and two Olympic Games. He’s a frequent guest on sports talk shows in Tucson and Phoenix.