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Judge declines Whitmer's appeal to postpone reopening of gyms

Gyms have been closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay at home order.
Credit: AP
Jason Nichols, facilities operation manager, disinfects equipment at the Life Time Biltmore as it opens for business after being closed due to the coronavirus Monday, May 18, 2020, in Phoenix. Big-box gyms and local fitness studios are reopening under a patchwork of protocols based on state and local guidance, but most are following these basics: spacing out cardio machines, touchless entry, smaller class sizes, increased cleaning and requiring users to clean all equipment before and after each use. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

On Monday, a federal judge declined Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s motion to pause the ruling that allows gyms in Michigan to reopen this week while she appeals the decision to a higher court.

The Whitmer administration argued for a stay on the injunction by U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney allowing gyms to reopen this Thursday, June 25, at 12:01 a.m. 

The injunction was made on behalf of the League of Independent Fitness Facilities and Trainers Inc. and a group of 22 companies operating gyms in Michigan. They sued Whitmer to allow gyms to reopen in the state of Michigan. 

RELATED: Group of gyms sue Whitmer, state health department director over stay at home order

Whitmer appealed Maloney’s injunction, citing the magnitude of shared spaces in gyms and the hazard they present in the spreading of COVID-19.

In the appeal, Whitmer's administration cited three reasons to overturn the ruling. These reasons are listed below:

  • The ruling to open gyms “disrupted the status quo rather than preserving it.”
  • The ruling to open gyms “implicated substantial separation of power concerns.”
  • “The Court improperly applied a heightened standard for rational basis review.”

Ultimately, Maloney said he wasn’t convinced that the injunction would harm public interest. He said Whitmer did not present any information that shows a rational relation between the preservation of public health and the continued closure of gyms.

Monday, Maloney denied Whitmer's motion to stay pending appeal.

Indoor gyms are still set to begin reopening this Thursday.

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