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Judge refuses to block Northam’s COVID-19 executive orders

(AP) A Richmond federal judge has refused to temporarily block enforcement of Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders aimed at reducing COVID-19’s spread.

U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. also scheduled an Aug. 27 trial date for a Loudoun County businessman’s lawsuit challenging the executive orders, court records showed.

Jon Tigges, owner of the Zion Springs vineyard and wedding venue, is represented by Chap Petersen, an attorney who also is a state senator. Petersen and Northam are both Democrats.

Tigges’ lawsuit claims the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions exceed his emergency powers.

The judge, who denied Tigges’ request for a preliminary injunction, said COVID-19 “is a dangerous disease and it is the obligation of our government to address that.” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

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