Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer files appeal in hopes of keeping state’s indoor gyms closed

Federal officials deny Whitmer's stay on gyms reopening

Bid to keep gyms closed denied by federal appeals court

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has appealed to try to keep gyms closed across the state.

On Monday, Whitmer’s stay on gyms reopening was denied, but she can still appeal.

“It is hereby ordered that defendants’ motion to stay pending appeal is denied,” a court document reads.

The governor filed an appeal after a federal judge ruled Friday that gyms could reopen Thursday (June 25).

Gyms have been closed for months as a result of the governor’s executive order. Gyms owners aren’t happy about it.

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney’s ruling was a big win for gyms. The ruling was made in the Western District of Michigan after a lawsuit was filed by the League of Independent Fitness Facilities.

“Defendants have not demonstrated ‘serious questions going to the merits’ or ‘irreparable harm that decidedly outweighs the harm that will be inflicted on others if a stay is granted,‘” a court document says. “Therefore, the balance of the factors again falls in plaintiffs’ favor, and the Court concludes that its June 19, 2020, order should not be stayed pending appeal.”

Whitmer isn’t happy about the prospect of gyms reopening this week.

Whitmer’s office released the following statement:

With this ruling, the court is playing a dangerous role it should not play: second-guessing and upending the data informed decisions that have saved thousands of lives in Michigan. The idea that gyms -- with their high levels of heavy respiratory activity, shared indoor spaces and shared surfaces -- might be one of the later businesses to come back online in the midst of this global pandemic is hardly surprising and highly sensible.”

Some gyms, such as the Powerhouse Gym in Troy, have gone ahead and reopened.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.