Federal judge rules against Nashville bar owners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has ruled against some Nashville bar owners who sought a temporary restraining order against city officials in an effort to push back against coronavirus restrictions.

Federal Judge Eli Richardson denied the request, the mayor’s office and the plaintiffs’ attorney told news outlets on Sunday.

“Judge Richardson’s ruling affirms Metro’s approach in fighting the coronavirus and keeping Nashvillians safe,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said in a statement.

Attorney Bryan Lewis, who is representing the bar owners said they are disappointed with the ruling but plan to move forward with their case.

The bar owners filed suit last week in U.S. Distict Court and sought a temporary restraining order against Cooper, Metro Public Health Department Director Michael C. Caldwell and the Metro Beer Permit Board.

The suit says the bar owners have suffered harm because of closures amid the pandemic and requests an exemption from a recent order by the mayor that requires bars in Nashville to close for two weeks.

As of Sunday, Nashville had more 5,000 active cases of the coronavirus and 141 death attributed to the illness.