GRESHAM, Ore. — An Oregon mayor and potential candidate for governor says that he is filing a lawsuit against Governor Kate Brown on behalf of several organizations, businesses, and individuals, challenging the ongoing coronavirus state of emergency.
Stan Pulliam, mayor of Sandy, said that the lawsuit will be filed in federal court "early this week." According to Pulliam, the lawsuit will challenge Brown's authority to use executive action to extend the state of emergency.
“The constitution provides us specific guarantees of liberty,” said Pulliam. “The Governor’s broadly applied authority continues to be shrouded in opaque rationale, undisclosed science, and arbitrary metrics. After 14 months, it’s time to put an end to this and restore our constitutionally protected rights as Americans.”
A previous challenge to Brown's authority ended in defeat at the Oregon Supreme Court, with justices vacating a county-level ruling that temporarily rendered Brown's executive orders "null and void." However, the original suit was not filed in federal court.
Pulliam said that the lawsuit will have an official announcement outside of Spud Monkeys, a Gresham restaurant and bar that has been cited in the past for defying state COVID-19 mandates.
“A governor’s powers in a state of emergency must be narrowly defined and temporary. Instead, they have been broad and ceaseless. It’s clear Governor Brown has no intention of relinquishing this absolute power herself, so we are forced to petition our judiciary branch to do it for her,” Pulliam said.
The Sandy mayor says that the discovery process will force Governor Brown's office to produce scientific data supporting restrictions on many businesses "while big-box stores remain open."
An outspoken critic of Brown's coronavirus restrictions, Pulliam has positioned himself as a potential Republican candidate for governor in 2022, announcing an exploratory committee in April.