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Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance (TBNA) Sues Texas Over Recent Shutdown Order

— June 29, 2020

Fed up with shut-down orders, the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance (TBNA) is suing the state of Texas.

Months have gone by since states went into lockdown mode over COVID-19, and since then many states have begun lifting lockdown orders. After all, back at the tail-end of April and early May, it seemed as if we had flattened the curve. People across the country were and are growing tired of restrictions on their lives, so many states, like Texas, began to allow bars to reopen and other businesses to open their doors. Additionally, many parts of the country became gripped with protests and riots in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day.

Texas State Capitol Building, Austin, TX; image by Alec Mason, via
Texas State Capitol Building, Austin, TX; image by Alec Mason, via

Reopening the economy and the numerous protests and riots brought people together in closer quarters than they had been for months, so are we really surprised to see an uptick in COVID-19 in certain places? Unfortunately, states like Texas are seeing a much higher rise in cases than other states, prompting Governor Greg Abbott to hit the pause button on reopening. In fact, he’s even made the decision to reclose bars across the state. But unlike the first lockdown, the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance (TBNA) isn’t having it, and recently announced it plans to sue the state of Texas over the recent order.

In an email sent to alliance members, the TBNA said Abbott’s “decision to once again close bars is irresponsible and shameful and urged bar owners to violate the order by remaining open.” It added that it “has counsel standing by to aid any bar that is ticketed, fined, has its license suspended or is criminally charged for remaining open despite the order.” The TNBA email further stated:

“Our Board members have been generous in retaining legal counsel on behalf of all 51% licenses across the state so that we can file suit this week against the State in both state court and federal court seeking a TRO to end the Governor’s overreach. In light of Greg Abbott’s irresponsible and shameful actions this morning that shutter the businesses that provide a livelihood for your families and employees, we support our members in the constitutional right to protest by keeping your businesses open. TBNA has heard from members across the state all day expressing their rage that our businesses have once again unjustly been indefinitely closed without one shred of scientific evidence that bars and nightclubs pose any more of a public health hazard than a restaurant, grocery store, big-box retailer, convenience store, health club, hair salon or the many of other business segments that cater to the public throughout the state of Texas.”

The announcement to re-close the bars came on Friday morning. When making the announcement, Abbott said, “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.”

Under the recent order, establishments that receive more than 51% of sales from alcohol shut down for the foreseeable future. However, they’re still allowed to offer take-out and delivery services.


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