By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
A little-noticed provision in a court ruling this week on bars and alcohol sales could end up curtailing business at some restaurants and force them to close.
In her decision Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Pamela Gates upheld the actions by Gov. Doug Ducey in keeping bars closed while allowing restaurants to remain open and continue to serve alcohol. She said that was within his authority to protect public health.
But Gates did not look so kindly on a decision by the governor to tell his own Department of Liquor Licenses and Control to look the other way when restaurants decided to sell beer, wine and liquor out the front door, a move that was designed to help the financially struggling businesses.
That directive, the judge said, hardly fits within the actions Ducey is permitted to take in emergencies. And she said Ducey’s decision to suspend enforcement of a liquor law “impermissibly stretches” the governor’s power.