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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.

Confirmed Cases: 32994

Reported Deaths: 547
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7204138
Marion469594
Washington454060
Umatilla298741
Clackamas242061
Malheur163327
Lane123417
Jackson11615
Deschutes85212
Yamhill76213
Jefferson5418
Polk53215
Linn52213
Morrow5056
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3146
Wasco2963
Klamath2802
Hood River2520
Douglas2334
Clatsop2170
Josephine1982
Columbia1791
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 812711

Reported Deaths: 15633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2684556515
Riverside589321206
San Bernardino54482925
Orange534481216
San Diego46734776
Kern31994369
Fresno28441382
Sacramento22356406
Santa Clara21241314
Alameda21240406
San Joaquin20245441
Contra Costa16640206
Stanislaus16471356
Tulare15970263
Ventura12775150
Imperial11852317
San Francisco11195101
Monterey995372
San Mateo9897150
Santa Barbara9090113
Merced8872142
Kings765180
Sonoma7412122
Marin6730118
Solano640065
Madera453965
Placer358745
San Luis Obispo356229
Butte283344
Yolo281555
Santa Cruz23609
Sutter170511
Napa169013
San Benito134811
Yuba11537
El Dorado11304
Mendocino93418
Shasta88317
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5735
Lake55511
Nevada5377
Colusa5316
Humboldt5088
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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