Oregon Supreme Court intervenes, upholds Gov. Brown's COVID-19 executive orders

A judge in the Baker County Circuit Court approved a preliminary injunction against Governor Kate Brown, rendering her executive orders 'null and void,' but the Oregon Supreme Court has issued a stay.

Posted: May 18, 2020 9:51 PM
Updated: May 19, 2020 4:01 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Supreme Court has issued a stay on the Monday Circuit Court ruling that temporarily rendered Governor Brown's coronavirus restrictions "null and void."

On Monday morning, Baker County Circuit Court judge Matthew Shirtcliff approved a request from the plaintiffs in a suit against Brown for a preliminary injunction on the order, denying a request from state attorneys for a stay on the decision.

The lawsuit itself comes from at least 10 Oregon churches and multiple individuals who argue that Governor Brown's orders are not consistent with the state constitution or legal statutes. They are represented by attorney Ray Hacke of the Pacific Justice Institute.

Governor Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum indicated that they would swiftly be filing with the Oregon Supreme Court for intervention. By Monday night, that intervention came.

“Following swift action by the Oregon Supreme Court, my emergency orders to protect the health and safety of Oregonians will remain in effect statewide while the court hears arguments in this lawsuit," Governor Brown said in a statement.

The order granting a temporary stay was signed by presiding Supreme Court justice Thomas Balmer. In it, Balmer said that the court had considered both the defendants' emergency motion and objections from the plaintiffs, but had ultimately decided to grant the emergency motion for a stay.

Balmer also said that the Supreme Court would be considering the state's writ of mandamus petition, which had requested that the preliminary injunction be vacated. That writ of mandamus will be considered in the days ahead, with the plaintiffs directed to submit their responses no later than May 22.

Governor Brown's statement on the day's events continues:

“From the beginning of this crisis, I have worked within my authority, using science and data as my guide, heeding the advice of medical experts. This strategy has saved lives and protected Oregonians from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are no shortcuts for us to return to life as it was before this pandemic. Moving too quickly could return Oregon to the early days of this crisis, when we braced ourselves for hospitals to be overfilled and ventilators in short supply.

“The science remains clear: by physically distancing, wearing face coverings, staying home as much as possible and only gradually reopening our communities we can save lives and keep Oregonians safe.

“We all look forward to visiting our loved ones in nursing homes, sending our children to school, and going to the grocery store without fear of spreading this disease. But the simple fact remains, COVID-19 is here in Oregon, and lives are at stake.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 174501

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34800568
Washington23412229
Marion20116299
Clackamas15311204
Lane11554144
Jackson9904127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes708272
Linn414263
Yamhill408775
Klamath345259
Polk342952
Malheur342758
Josephine305462
Douglas304365
Benton273218
Jefferson206432
Coos196831
Columbia153826
Union141124
Lincoln129820
Wasco128928
Hood River112429
Morrow107915
Clatsop8918
Crook87819
Baker85614
Curry5939
Tillamook5803
Lake4137
Grant4064
Harney3056
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3716579

Reported Deaths: 60994
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122864123628
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2945774550
San Diego2748113674
Orange2688694891
Santa Clara1169712013
Kern1078251322
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1005001643
Alameda852561477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66927782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383830
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41107560
San Francisco35993517
Santa Barbara33863446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29679311
Imperial27962719
Kings22766245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16250239
Santa Cruz15554204
Marin13860226
Yolo13559199
Shasta11677217
Butte11549196
El Dorado9719109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598263
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362151
Humboldt358737
Lake340643
Glenn235525
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned330
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