CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio’s three largest amusement and waterparks are suing the Ohio Department of Health to reopen, claiming the department has no constitutional authority to keep their businesses closed.
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed suit on Friday on behalf of Cedar Point, Kalahari Resorts, and Kings Island to instruct the Ohio Department of Health to discontinue enforcing its criminalization of Ohio’s amusement and water parks, as implemented through the Director Dr. Amy Acton’s May 29 order.
The 1851 Center argues that the May 29 Order singles out amusement and water parks to remain closed even though nearly all other Ohio businesses are allowed to reopen.
“The Order provides no opening dates for these seasonal businesses that employ thousands and generate the bulk of the economic activity in their respective counties, even though these businesses are safe to operate,” the 1851 Center states.
The 1851 Center’s Complaints assert that Dr. Acton holds no power as Health Director to close otherwise lawful Ohio businesses or create her own sanctions to enforce those closures.
The Complaints also argue that the amusement and waterparks are being unfavorably singled out by having to remain closed while businesses with similar features, including pols and large crowds, are allowed to be open.
The 1851 Center also pointed out that Gov. Mike DeWine announced the opening of many like-kind businesses on Thursday, but did not include amusement and waterparks on his list.
“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,” explained 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson. “We and our clients remain committed to ensuring that these arbitrary policies never again recur.”
The cases are pending in the Erie County Courts of Common Pleas with Judge Binette, and the Warren County Court of Common Pleas with Judge Oda.