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Judge rules Oregon Governor’s stay-at-home order is ‘null and void’

May 18, 2020

  We are beginning to see some Judges rule against State COVID-19 lock-down orders. We have seen Judges rule against the Wisconsin stay-at-home order, Massachusetts’ gun shop closures, and Kentucky’s in-person Church service ban and now we can add Oregon to the list.

  According to this story a county Judge has ruled parts of Governor Kate Brown’s stay-at-home order, including a ban on in-person worship services, is null and void. Here is more:

A Baker County judge on Monday ruled that Gov. Kate Brown’s restrictions on religious gatherings as well as her other “Stay Home Save Lives” coronavirus orders are “null and void” because they exceed a 28-day limit.

Circuit Judge Matthew B. Shirtcliff granted a preliminary injunction to 10 churches that had sued the governor, finding they had shown “irreparable harm” from the deprivation of the right to freely exercise their religions.

“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,” he ruled.

He found that the churches can take necessary social distancing precautions, just as grocery stores and other essential businesses have done. He also ruled that the injunction was in the public’s interest, allowing people the right to freely worship and the ability to restore economic viability.

“This court understands that the current pandemic creates an unprecedented crisis in the state as well as in our country,” Shirtcliff said, speaking from the bench in a video conference hearing.

He said he must weigh the governor’s public health concerns against the constitutional right of freedom of worship, but he found that “the balance of equities tips in favor of Plaintiffs.”

“Plaintiffs have shown that they will be harmed by deprivation of the constitutional right to freely exercise their religion. Other plaintiffs have also shown great economic harm to their businesses and their ability to seek livelihood,” the judge said.

  This was only a county Judge and the ruling has already been appealed to the State Supreme Court however if it is true that the law only allows the Governor’s order to last 28 days before needing legislative approval it seems likely the Supreme Court will have to uphold this decision, although it seems to hinge on if the higher court will decide the public safety is at risk. 

  As this Judge points out as long as the Churches and the small businesses adhere to the social conditioning guidelines other entities which were allowed to stay open are following there is no reason they also cannot open.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2020 8:20 pm

    Keep up the good work. Many of us are counting on you to make sure we don’t miss these important developments. My late husband, John English, was a Word Press blogger for many years and introduced me to your posts. Although it may seem like a thankless task at times, rest assured that as the information you share is passed on to others, you are making a difference!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • peter3nj permalink
      May 18, 2020 8:57 pm

      Although the pessimist in me usually sees the light at the end of the tunnel as an oncoming freight train, maybe Just maybe… .🚈

      Liked by 2 people

      • May 19, 2020 4:33 am

        I know how you feel, it is tough to stay positive when you see what is going on all around us but I am hopeful we are going to turn a corner on this.

        Liked by 1 person

    • May 19, 2020 4:31 am

      Thank you for the words of encouragement! It does get frustrating at times and it is always nice to know people appreciate what I am doing. Thanks again.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. May 19, 2020 6:25 am

    A flicker of the flame still burns….

    Liked by 2 people

Trackbacks

  1. Oregon Supreme Court puts hold on lower court decision that COVID-19 stay-at-home order was ‘null and void’ | America's Watchtower

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