My friend and classmate – Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen (D) – filed a lawsuit today on behalf of several businesses alleging that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam does not have authority to maintain the business-related restrictions for as long as he has:

Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, is representing two business owners in lawsuits against Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, over the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders.

Linda Park, a restaurant owner in Fredericksburg, and Jon Tigges, a wedding venue owner in Northern Virginia, are suing Northam over the restrictions he put in place in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Representing them is Petersen, a centrist Democrat and lawyer who has been outspoken against the restrictions…

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, said Northam went beyond his authority as governor and violated Tigges’ constitutional rights, specifically a clause in the Fifth Amendment that says a person shouldn’t be deprived of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

“The governor’s action was taken under color of state law and has been enforced by officials in his administration,” the complaint says. “It is plainly unconstitutional.”

A separate lawsuit from Tigges and Park, filed with the Supreme Court of Virginia, challenges the fact that the General Assembly was not part of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Very interesting place for Chap to be, politically.  He definitely seems to be on the far right-hand edge of the Democratic party these days.


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