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: 359733

Reported Deaths: 4295
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah56103709
Washington39002324
Marion37013454
Clackamas29983309
Lane27945302
Jackson23165310
Deschutes20559125
Umatilla14521150
Linn13048131
Douglas12196250
Josephine9430197
Yamhill8752113
Klamath8081119
Polk740581
Malheur565278
Benton555331
Coos507894
Columbia386044
Jefferson379553
Lincoln324239
Union321149
Crook293946
Wasco291141
Clatsop244728
Baker204129
Tillamook197932
Hood River194737
Morrow185723
Curry181325
Harney114427
Grant100213
Lake94812
Wallowa69312
Gilliam1564
Sherman1523
Wheeler1101
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4855616

Reported Deaths: 71443
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148576926552
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3682674196
San Bernardino3586775720
Orange3251235578
Sacramento1596362313
Kern1472941652
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921415
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus867381338
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924354
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766788
Lassen761848
San Benito744974
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa137017
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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