An ongoing federal lawsuit in Michigan launched by a restaurant trade association that is fighting to stop the state’s latest COVID-19-based indoor dining ban appears to be emblematic of similar suits across the country.

It shows the commonality of certain federal constitutional arguments being made by food service businesses, such as claims rooted in the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause, commerce clause and due process rights. And it shows how high of a hurdle it is to convince federal courts, in the midst of a deadly and raging pandemic, to reverse dining bans handed down by governors, mayors and health officials who cite scientific data as they impose farther-reaching restrictions aimed at stopping America’s dramatic jumps in coronavirus deaths and illness.

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