CLEVLEAND — Ohio’s three largest amusement and water parks, Cedar Point, Kings Island and Kalahari Resorts, have filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Health claiming a May 29 order singled out amusement parks and water parks from opening while other businesses were permitted to operate.
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which describes itself as "a non-profit, non-partisan law firm dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government," announced that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the amusement parks on Friday.
The parks claim that the May 29 order does not provide an opening date for these seasonal businesses that employ thousands and generate the bulk of the economic activity in their respective counties.
The law center asserts that the health director maintains no power to close otherwise lawful Ohio businesses or to create her own sanctions to enforce those closures.
“The Ohio Constitution’s protections apply to all, including those businesses that the state’s highest public officials view as non-essential. The Governor and his Health Director must end their unnecessary and unconstitutional assault on Ohioans’ businesses and traditions,” said 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson in a news release. “We and our clients remain committed to ensuring that these arbitrary policies never again recur.”
Ohio law gives wide powers to the health director to to make “special or standing orders or rules … for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases.”
According to the release, the cases are pending in Erie County Courts of Common Pleas before Judge Binette and the Warren County Court of Common Pleas of Judge Oda.