Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen today turned down the lawsuit by a number of club owners in Fayetteville seeking to overturn Governor Hutchinson’s 11 p.m. closing time for retail sellers of alcoholic drinks.

The clubs argued that there was no rational basis for the pandemic emergency rule and it deprived them of their most lucrative hours of business.


The judge said the establishments operated by privilege, not right and so due process claims over the executive order must fail. His key ruling:

The Court finds that public health and safety is a legitimate governmental interest which the existing coronavirus pandemic threatens, and is a rational basis for the challenged Executive Order and Directive.

He also said the businesses had not established a “taking” of their property. He granted the state’s motion for a summary judgment to dismiss the case in denying an injunction against the rule.


40/29 reports that the bar owners will appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court.