Bellmawr gym owners get their day in court
They were the first gym to open breaking Governor Murphy's executive order and now they may be the reason gym owners may be the last to reopen. It looks like the owners of Attilas Gym in Bellmawr will have their day in federal court on June 19. I say "looks like" because from what the gyms owner Ian Smith told me when he came on my show Thursday night, "we've been strung along now going on a month."
It could take even longer.
"We're getting a hearing next Friday," Smith said, "but a judgment from that could take anywhere up to two weeks if he doesn't want to rule on it in that moment."
The owners are suing Governor Murphy, the health department, the state police, and the Attorney General as well. Right now Smith says they are doing an emergency injunction to get open. He told me they are filing a temporary restraining order, "telling the government that they need to lay off based on constitutional grounds."
The night Atilis Gym opened on May 18, gym owner Chris Lambert, who owns the Atilis Gym in Egg Harbor, along with two other gym owners and congressman Jeff Van Drew representing 150 gym owners, were supposed to be on a call with Governor Murphy but instead gave their proposal to his aides. A proposal they say was used in press releases and to allow the pro athletes to train but not to allow the gyms to open. Any connection?
"I can only speculate, but from all the people I have met in the last couple of weeks who are connected in the political world, they say that Murphy is a vindictive man."
As for the science and logic, Smith said,
"It doesn't seem to be guided by science and logic that's for sure, because if pro athletes can train in a safe manor, I don't understand why the general public can't. This whole thing seems like Murphy picks winners and losers in an arbitrary manner and that he doesn't seem to want to share with anybody but just says it's guided by science."
With so much of New Jersey businesses reopening, is it worth it to just wait the Governor out?
"I think that Murphy is going to hold on to as much of this executive power as he can and he going to drag it out as long as he can [based on his changing the rules after showing up at the protests].
"I can't say that I can have any confidence in when he'll open gyms, maybe the next time he feels like having a workout."
And will Atiliss Gym in Bellmawr abide by the judges ruling whenever it comes?
"We're taking it day by day, at this point. We've already been failed by the executive branch, Murphy as the governor has failed small businesses and middle class New Jerseyans I think, and right now we're being failed by the judicial branch as well. We're being given the runaround, they know exactly what they're doing and they're delaying on purpose."
"We don't know what tomorrow brings. We will try to respect the rule of law as much as possible, but what it comes down to, we're taking this day by day."
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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