N.J. Republicans sue Murphy to force him to reopen small businesses

Posted 7 days ago


New Jersey Republicans are suing Gov. Phil Murphy to reopen small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor was out of bounds when he “arbitrarily” decided some businesses were not essential, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in state Superior Court in Cape May, and Murphy’s decision to shutter part of the state has caused “irreparable harm to innumerable small businesses."

Continued closure was “not backed by science at this point,” state Sen. Mike Testa, R-Cumberland, said Thursday during on online press conference, especially since big stores like Walmart had been allowed to remain open.

A barber shop in Sussex County was among the businesses in the suit asking to reopen.

“You can sterilize a barber chair a lot easier ... than you could a bunch of random items that someone’s touching in a store and putting back on the shelf,” said Republican State Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt.

The state’s more than 861,000 small businesses have been hit particularly hard by efforts to combat the outbreak, and some face permanent closure, despite billions of available dollars in loans.

Some businesses have recently been allowed to partially reopen, and Murphy has said he hopes to allow more in the coming weeks.

The governor appeared surprised to learn about the suit when questioned during his daily briefing in Trenton.

“We make the decision about what’s essential and what’s not essential ... based on data, ... (Read more)