Bowling Facilities Associations of Michigan Sues Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Calls for to Reopen

bowling alley

After the Bowling Centers Associations of Michigan were forced to remain closed for months, they along with five bowling lanes decided to sue Governor Gretchen Whitmer, D, to bring the bowling lanes back into operation across the state. According to the lawsuit, the governor's order to keep bowling alleys closed is unconstitutional and should therefore be repealed.

The lawsuit was filed today in federal court in Grand Rapids. The Bowling Centers Associations of Michigan are restoring 165 bowling lanes across the state and naming Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel as defendants. When filing the lawsuit, plaintiffs are asking a judge "to order the state to allow the reopening without penalty". Commenting on the current situation, Bo Goergen, executive director of the Bowling Centers Association of Michigan, said he was "stunned that other sectors in Michigan have been able to reopen while bowling remains in suspense". He added:

“I can get a haircut and have my nails done. I can get a full hour body massage. I can have a dentist put my hands in my mouth … and now I can go to a casino – but I can't open a bowling center? Pretty frustrating. "

It's worth noting that bowling alleys are allowed to open in Michigan Regions 6 and 8 in the northern part of the state, but the rest of the state is out of luck. In addition, bowling alleys were allowed to reopen in 45 other states, depending on the lawsuit.

The current Michigan government and former Ford School faculty Gretchen Whitmer will deliver a speech in 2015. Image via Flickr / User: FordSchool. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Bowling alleys had to close when Whitmer signed the 2020-160 Executive Order. According to the regulation, bowling alleys and "amusement parks, amusement arcades, bingo halls, indoor climbing facilities, indoor dance floors, ice rinks, trampoline parks and water parks must remain closed". However, the order allows the resumption of professional sports, including professional bowling. The suit argues that "there is no point in allowing professional bowling but keeping recreational bowling banned." The suit also asks why "personal care services like hairdressers and nail salons can be opened but bowling alleys cannot". The lawsuit continues:

"These services naturally require personal physical contact between the seller and the customer."

In addition, the lawsuit argues that the "indicators" Whitmer relies on to make her decisions about what can and cannot be reopened are "arbitrary, vague and objectively inappropriate". Whitmer's actions have been effective in slowing the spread of COVID. 19 in Michigan, according to the lawsuit, and are no longer required due to lower case numbers and hospitalizations. "It says:" COVID-19 is no longer an acute emergency. "

Plaintiffs also argue that like other industries, bowling alleys can safely reopen. In fact, weeks ago the Bowling Centers Associations of Michigan presented Whitmer with a guide on the precautions they want to take to protect customers and employees – such as capacity limits, plexiglass barriers, and additional disinfection of shoes and bowling balls. "

In addition to the Bowling Centers Associations of Michigan, five bowling centers are named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including Forest View Lanes in Temperance, Spartan West Bowling Center in Ludington, Royal Scot Golf and Bowl in Lansing, Spectrum Lanes in Wyoming, and Merri Bowl in Livonia. The plaintiffs are not only asking the court for permission to reopen, they also want the court to "consider Executive Order 2020-160 unconstitutional – citing the 5th and 14th amendments".


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