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In Oregon, judge overturns Democratic governor’s executive order

Officials in many blue states want to keep their constituents on a COVID-19 lockdown leash — perhaps indefinitely. But the tethers seem to be fraying. Oregon provides the latest example.

On Monday, a state judge declared Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s extension of statewide lockdown restrictions “null and void.” Brown had declared a coronavirus “state of emergency” on March 8, with her original order ending on May 7. Before it expired, Brown tacked on another 60 days.

Judge Matthew Shirtcliff sided with a coalition of 10 churches that challenged the order, and which were represented by the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative legal defense nonprofit. The plaintiffs argued that Oregon’s constitution mandated the governor to obtain approval of three-fifths of the legislature before extending an emergency declaration beyond 28 days. Brown sought no such authority.  

“The governor’s orders are not required for public safety when plaintiffs can continue to utilize social distancing and safety protocols at larger gatherings involving spiritual worship,” Judge Shirtcliff wrote.

Brown immediately appealed to the state Supreme Court, which on Monday afternoon granted a stay on Shirtcliff’s ruling, which the governor wants overturned. 

Oregon’s high court will have to sort out which law applies to Brown’s declaration. 

In her order, Brown cited the state’s emergency declaration statute, which has no deadline on the governor’s authority to take action to address the crisis. The plaintiffs alleged that the law applies to natural disasters like earthquakes or floods. They counter that the laws governing public health emergencies, which would require legislative approval to be continued, are applicable in this case. 

In her original order, Brown cited both laws. Yet she also stated plainly, “I find that the novel infectious coronavirus has created a threat to public health and safety.”

Additionally, the order noted that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had declared a nationwide “public health emergency” on Jan. 31 and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had determined COVID-19 “presents a ‘high’ potential public health threat both globally and in the United States.” 

The Oregon Supreme Court could very well decide for Brown and keep the lockdown intact.

But if so, the justices will likely fuel the tide of restlessness that Oregon residents see rising in other places, where residents and local authorities believe their state’s central government has overreached as the coronavirus death toll slows.

For instance, the Wisconsin Supreme Court knocked down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order because he, too, failed to get legislative approval before extending it. A federal judge in North Carolina agreed with religious leaders who tested Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s ban on religious services. And sheriffs in several Illinois counties have announced that they won’t enforce Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order because it exceeds his constitutional authority.

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  1. rickzilla May 19, 2020

    Hallelujah! The government is crazy, drunk with power for sure.

  2. Dave May 19, 2020

    Pennsylvania has an uprising as well. The governor is gradually allowing businesses to reopen and for people to return to work. …and that’s only 1/3 of the state.

  3. Kary May 20, 2020

    This was a manmade disaster or epidemic and NOT an act of God or a natural disaster !!!
    So here yet is another example of corrupt, abuse of power by democrats to trample on our American Human Rights !!!?
    These continued acts and violations need to be investigated and prosecuted both criminally and civilly NO matter what their political parties are !!?

  4. Chris Red May 20, 2020

    Not even president Trump has done more than hint at the truth of what is behind this. 5 years ago this virus with no transmission to humans was placed into a well funded study paid for through nefarious means through the trilateral commissions channels. Suddenly inside the lab human transmission became possible and escaped with only a regional infection in China. after five years of study and tens of millions of dollars it seems that very little was known about this virus. However even though the region of China was isolated from the rest of China there seem to be a number of freshly infected people traveling to other parts of the world. If there was no money for all of this from the rest of the world we would consider it an act of terrorism by China. However if you look deep this is created a world socialism requirement due to the extended lockdown and virtual destruction of the world economy. Perhaps this was orchestrated to instill fear and Gain control of the world population and promote communist socialist support in fearful citizens. Bilderberg Group discussed this method of gaining control in the late 90s by creating a real danger and manipulating the media to create their desired results. Few alive have ever spoken or hinted about this third stage of the plans. It is even discussed in the back room meetings at the DNC. You heard the politicians after 2016 meeting we are going to tell you what to do and there is nothing you can do about it. One even said we have nuclear weapons, implying resistance is futile. Hillary even said if I go down I am taking most of Washington with me. I am so saddened said no one is willing to announce or even cares about the truth and conspiracy behind this world!

  5. Russ McClure May 20, 2020

    This shutdown is way beyond a distraction to keep local and small stores/gyms close in hope of them either closing due to not able to make living which is a health concern is every single Oregonian ends up on the street and without food.

    Will lead to starving, bigger health concerns than just a small pandemic.

    The H1N1 infected 60 million us citizens and kill rice as many people as the Covid-19.

    The lockdown is should be.

    Only the we the people should decided if they want to risk it just as we did for H1N1.

    With the over rating of them virus paranoia is at an all time high.

    I have also been infected with covid. Went to hospital for a week and recovered taking the Ebola drug to kill covid.

    After, I have gone out endless times and have not contacted it again. I stopped wearing masks. The truth is, it is a one time deal. After you cannot get the nasty bug. It may be transferable to a degree . But will not matter if you recovered from it.

    Now all I wish I to get back to the gym to relieve my back pain and to also be as healthy as I can:

    The lockdown in Oregon is no longer necessary!

    It is against the rights of Americans to choose to be able to work and have a fruitful life.

    The demonIcRats, democrats have overstep their power and broke the law.

    At this point no one will be voting another one ever again.

    They are pure evil. And have put the country into more unnecessary debt!

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