May 18, 2020 - Health

Judge tosses out Oregon stay-at-home restrictions

Kate Brown.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A county judge in Oregon on Monday tossed out Gov. Kate Brown's stay-at-home executive order because it was not approved by the legislature within 28 days.

The big picture: Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff agreed with a group of churches who brought the lawsuit, arguing that Brown couldn't keep coronavirus restrictions in place for more than a month without the legislature's approval. She first issued the order on March 23.

  • “The stay-at-home order is no longer in effect. It is invalidated. If people want to get their haircut, they can. They can leave their home for any reason whether it’s deemed essential in the eye of the state or not,” Ray Hacke, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs, told AP.
  • Brown says she will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court in an attempt to keep the emergency order active.

What she's saying:

“Today’s ruling from the Baker County Circuit Court will be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court within hours to keep my emergency orders in effect. This will ensure we can continue to safeguard the health of all Oregonians — including frontline health care workers, those living in nursing homes, workers in agriculture and food processing plants, and Oregonians with underlying health conditions –– while the legal process moves forward.
The science behind these executive orders hasn’t changed one bit. Ongoing physical distancing, staying home as much as possible, and wearing face coverings will save lives across Oregon."
“It is irresponsible to dismiss the health risks and science behind our measures to stop COVID-19. We would be faced with the prospect of another mass outbreak without the tools that have proven to be effective in protecting our friends, families, neighbors, and loved ones from this disease.”
— Kate Brown in a news release
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