COLUMBUS — 35 independent gyms have joined together to launch a lawsuit against Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton for continuing to enforce the closure of gyms and fitness centers throughout the state, in accordance with Acton’s Stay Safe Ohio Order issued last month.
The gyms are being represented by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a non-profit law firm that describes its mission as being “dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government.”
The lawsuit states that Acton’s order, issued on April 30, “opens, or provides a pathway to opening, many Ohio industries, but leaves gyms closed indefinitely without regard to whether gyms are capable of operating safely.”
The 1851 Center argues that Acton’s “unfettered discretion over matters of quarantine and isolation is impermissibly vage” and violates “separation of powers on its face.” In addition, the group argues that Acton’s use of power to “criminalize gyms that could otherwise comply with each of the safety regulations articulated in the April 30, 2020 Order violates operators’ right to equal protection.”
Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center, said, “The Ohio Constitution requires greater scrutiny of vague and discriminatory enactments that trample Ohioans’ property rights. Ohio gyms are capable of operating safely, and have the right to operate on equal terms with other Ohio businesses. Once gyms have opened, we are committed to ensuring that these arbitrary policies never recur.”
The case is pending before Judge Eugene Lucci in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas.
You can read the complaint and see which gyms signed on below: