Oregon Superior Court maintains state virus restrictions

Oregon Superior Court maintains state virus restrictions
Oregon Superior Court maintains state virus restrictions

The Oregon Supreme Court upheld virus sanctions across the state by suspending a judge's order to terminate them in a lawsuit alleging that when she ceases religious services in person, the governor grants him her right Crosses it.

Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shurtcliffe ruled Monday that Gov. Kate Brown did not seek approval from the Legislature to extend her orders to stay home beyond the 28-day limit. Brown's attorneys appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court, which suspended the Shirtcliffe decree just hours later until a High Court judge could review the case.

Court President Thomas Ballmer gave both parties until Friday to file a legal report. He did not provide a timeline for any decision.

A lower court judge issued her opinion earlier this month in response to a lawsuit filed by 10 churches in Oregon arguing that the state's directive of social distinction was unconstitutional.

In a statement on Monday night, Brown, a Democrat, praised the state Supreme Court's action.

“There is no shortcut so we can return to life as it was before the epidemic. Returning to Oregon in the early days of this crisis when we were preparing to overfill hospitals, ”she said.

Kevin Mannix, a lawyer representing the companies in the case, said on Tuesday that he was encouraged to take the state Supreme Court seriously. Generally, court cases will not receive briefings until 1 June.

Every day, the governor's order remains in effect, people are prevented from meeting in peace, their free speech rights are limited ... and most importantly, their freedom of religion rights are restricted, "he said." This power she is exercising exceptionally is her deadline. "

In his opinion, Shurtcliffe wrote that the loss to Oregonians and their livelihoods was greater than the threats posed by coronoviruses. She also said that other companies deemed necessary, such as grocery stores, were allowed to remain open even with large numbers of people present and relied on masks, social distinctions and other measures to protect the public. .

"Governor's orders are not necessary for public safety, when litigants can continue to use social disturbances and security protocols in large ceremonies involving spiritual worship," she wrote.

Courts in other states have ruled against similar orders. The Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Governor Tony Evers' order to stay at home last week, ruling that her administration overturned her authority when she extended the order for another month without consulting lawmakers.

A federal judge in North Carolina sided with conservative Christian leaders on Saturday and blocked the enforcement of sanctions that Governor Roy Cooper ordered to affect internal religious services during the epidemic.

Judge James C. of two churches, a minister and a Christian revival group. A federal lawsuit was filed a few days after the Davar III order arrived, promptly halting the application of rules covering religious services under executive orders. Democratic Governor.

However, in Louisiana, a federal judge denied a minister's request to temporarily block Governor John Bel Edwards' stay order, which expired later that day.

After the Oregon County judge's decision activated the legal system, Brown issued her orders. The plaintiffs allege, and the judge agreed, that they were issued under a statute relating to public health emergencies, not a provision addressing earlier natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods.

The public health statute includes a 28-day time limit, while another Brown will grant broad powers, but is not relevant in the current situation, said Kevin Mannix, who represents the business owners in the case.

California, Washington State and New York, where governors have repeatedly extended coronovirus restrictions, give more power to their governors in public health emergencies, but Oregon law keeps a particular eye on those "extraordinary powers." .

"Perhaps other states will learn a lesson from us about what to do with future public health emergencies," Manix said. "We have thought about it, we have balanced the powers of the governor with the powers of the people and their representatives."

Brown declared a statewide emergency on March 8 due to the virus and has since issued several executive orders, including the closure of all schools, unprofessional businesses and a ban on restaurant and bar food service.

Earlier this month, Brown extended another 60-day order through July 6. However, all but a handful of Oregon counties received state approval last Friday to ease those restrictions.

Also in a separate case on Tuesday, a federal judge denied an emergency court order on Brown's stay-at-home orders requested by a coalition of nine companies and a nonprofit organization. The Oregonian / Oregonjoy reports that US District Judge Michael J. Machen found that plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed in their federal constitutional lawsuits.

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