UPDATE: Defiant CR Gym Owner Cited For Violation
UPDATE: KCRG reports that Jason Bailey, the owner of Custom Fitness in Cedar Rapids, has been cited for violating Governor Kim Reynolds' Emergency Health Declaration in Iowa. Bailey was issued a citation for a public health violation on Tuesday. The charge is a simple misdemeanor.
Cedar Rapids police tell KCRG that they observed several people working out at the gym on Tuesday, and that Bailey told them he ignored the governors' orders of having only one person in a gym at once, by appointment.
Bailey will make his initial court appearance on June 25th. He faces a fine of up to $625.
A gym owner in Cedar Rapids says that he is not afraid of facing charges or a fine from police by opening his gym back up because he argues that Governor Kim Reynolds' emergency health proclamation violates the U.S. Constitution.
KCRG reports that gyms in Linn and 21 other counties are allowed to only have one person inside the gym at a time, by appointment only, if these choose to re-open. But Custom Fitness in Cedar Rapids is letting ALL it's members walk in and work out whenever they choose after re-opening on Friday. Gym owner Jason Bailey says that he is aware that this violates the governors' orders, but says that her proclamation violates his customers' First Amendment right to assembly. Bailey told KCRG, "When the constitution says that we have unalienable rights that cannot be infringed upon, and when they say something that infringes upon them, I don't see how you can interpret it any other way."
According to a Cedar Rapids attorney, the First Amendment might not even apply in this case, but the 14th Amendment might. Attorney Ray Scheetz told KCRG that the 14th Amendment protects people from the government coming in and taking something, and in this case, they haven't taken anything. But by instructing businesses to close, Scheetz says that property rights are significantly diminished.
This could all be a moot point come this Friday anyway. Governor Reynolds could further loosen rules for Iowa businesses, including gyms. Custom Fitness members who don't agree with re-opening don't have to pay their membership fees and can freeze their memberships for 90 days with no penalties.