It’s a long-established law of power politics that one should never let a crisis go to waste. Crises and disasters, and the hysteria that grows up around them, provide politicians with the perfect cover needed to make power grabs. These power grabs can then be rationalized as “necessary” to ensure “safety.”
COVID-19 provides startling confirmation of this. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was one of the most adept at using the pandemic to create absurd new rules and edicts that did nothing to keep anyone safe but that greatly increased his power.
One of these edicts was Cuomo’s demand that bars and restaurants in New York respect a curfew and not stay open late into the night. Late-night shifts tend to be the most lucrative periods for most of these businesses, so Cuomo’s order essentially throttled them all.
Thankfully, New York bar and restaurant owners have recently won a major court decision against Cuomo’s government and may finally be getting some justice for what they have been put through.
NY Supreme Court to the Rescue
In November, Cuomo had ordered a 10 p.m. curfew for all bars and restaurants across the state. Last month, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, he was gracious enough to extend that to 11 p.m.
However, on Saturday, February 27, the New York Supreme Court issued a preliminary injunction halting the operation of this order and allowed 90 bars and restaurants across New York to stay open until their regular pre-pandemic closing time of 4 a.m.
Bar and restaurant owners are rejoicing.
In their many lawsuits against the Cuomo administration, these business owners demanded to see the scientific data upon which Cuomo’s curfews were ostensibly based. Of course, it’s obvious to anyone that viruses do not magically stop infecting people at 10 or 11 p.m.
The preliminary injunction prevents Cuomo’s government from enforcing his curfew policy until all of these lawsuits have been settled.
Steve Cohen, an attorney for HoganWillig PLLC, the law firm representing many of these bars and restaurants, says that his firm already has 13 ongoing lawsuits and is happy to take on more.
All in all, it appears that the legal pushback against Cuomo began with only 10 different restaurants centered around Buffalo, but now, more than 100 small businesses are suing Cuomo in various ways.