Without recorded dissent, the Supreme Court today denied review in County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health v. Superior Court, where the published opinion of the Second District, Division Four, Court of Appeal rejected a challenge to a county’s emergency COVID-19 order temporarily prohibiting outdoor restaurant dining. The order was issued after indoor dining had already been banned. [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus curiae brief in the Court of Appeal.]
The superior court in the case had been receptive to the challenge. It enjoined the outdoor dining ban until the county’s public health officers “conduct[ ] an appropriate risk-benefit analysis and articulate it for the public to see.” The appellate court, on the other hand, concluded that “courts should be extremely deferential to public health authorities, particularly during a pandemic, and particularly where, as here, the public health authorities have demonstrated a rational basis for their actions.”
This is yet another case that landed on the Supreme Court’s pandemic docket.