Oral arguments before the state Supreme Court will be live streamed today in the a case concerning business claims for compensation because of losses from public health order restrictions on their operations.
Over a dozen businesses around the state are seeking compensation for the emergency shutdown due to COVID-19 public health order enacted by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. In the case of the State v. Wilson, business owners argue they are due financial compensation from the state. At the core of its argument, Attorney General Hector Balderas and lawyers for the plaintiffs are asking the court to decide whether shutting down businesses for a public health order gives the state eminent domain.
Many small businesses have complained during the various iterations of the public health order that the opening and closing of businesses unfairly target small, local businesses and instead pave the way for big box stores such as WalMart and Home Depot to capitalize on the shutdown.
Balderas’ office has argued that the state’s Public Health Emergency Response Act only allows for compensation of medical supply companies or medical providers that would be hypothetically taken over by the state during a public health emergency. Even if the law allowed for compensation, Balderas’ office argued, it would make it nearly impossible for the state to take action during an emergency.
If the high court sides with the plaintiffs, it could set a precedent that prohibits the state from enacted any emergency orders to help slow the spread of a pandemic or health orders in the future.
Live stream of the hearings will be broadcast on KNME, and their YouTube channel.