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NM Supreme Court overrides judge’s indoor-dining order

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The New Mexico Supreme Court late Monday granted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency request to keep in place the state’s temporary ban on indoor dining in restaurants across the state.

Earlier in the day, Judge Raymond Romero of the 5th Judicial District granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the state’s ban on restaurants offering indoor dining from going into effect.

The Supreme Court’s stay allows the governor to continue enforcing the ban “until further order” of the court, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

The Supreme Court announced it will weigh the challenge to New Mexico’s prohibition on indoor service at restaurants and breweries, and has ordered briefings on the case from restaurants and the governor’s office, according to Associated Press reports.

“I appreciate the high court’s recognition of the importance of consistent application and enforcement and the opportunity to bolster our case that high-contact indoor environments where face coverings cannot be worn present an untenable risk given the incredible danger of COVID-19 at the moment,” Lujan Grisham said in the press release.

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Following the decision by Romero, the governor’s office moved swiftly to file an emergency petition with the Supreme Court.

Lujan Grisham reinstated the state’s prohibition on indoor restaurant dining in an emergency public health order signed July 13 to address a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Restaurants though are still permitted to offer delivery and pickup services as well as patio dining at 50% of maximum capacity.

A group of restaurant owners and the New Mexico Restaurant Association had argued indoor dining restrictions were being applied unfairly since gyms, churches and other establishments did not have to abide by such rules.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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