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Businesses File Suit Against Governor, Claim Stay-At-Home Orders Violates State Constitution

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Some small business owners fed up with how Safer-At-Home orders are impacting them financially have filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, among other officials.

Cielito Lindo restaurant and King's Mobile Pet Spa are among the seven businesses named in the suit.

They're being represented by prominent attorney Mark Geragos, who is asking a federal judge to strike down the orders and have state and county governments pay for losses.

"Just because you can cite that people have died from this does not mean you get to suspend the constitution," Geragos said.

Along with Newsom, Geragos is also suing Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Sheriffs and the Board of Supervisors in L.A., Orange, Riverside and Ventura Counties.

The suit claims that the orders that have forced many businesses to temporarily close down violates the state Constitution as well as the fifth and 14th amendments.

"Our hope is that it legally slaps some of these politicians in the face," Geragos said. "What they're doing is not only unconstitutional but there's no scientific basis for it."

Top medical experts across the country have argued that science shows there is a need for people to stay home as much as possible as the coronavirus continues to spread, and legal experts say this could be a tough case to win.

"The state has the power to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents," said Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson. "I think at this moment, it might be hard to find a judge who's amenable to these arguments."

Geragos said that on Monday he plans to file a suit against certain banks for giving out loans to corporations that were intended to bail out small businesses.

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