Oregon is one of several states where a legal fight is underway over lockdowns and executive orders, and now the state’s highest court has temporarily reversed a lower court ruling and sided with Gov. Kate Brown.
The action Tuesday morning by the Oregon Supreme Court flipped a ruling from a circuit court judge that agreed the governor had exceeded her authority when she extended a shelter-in-place order.
Attorneys from California-based Pacific Justice Institute had filed a lawsuit on behalf of churches throughout Oregon, arguing that the state constitution permits an emergency executive order for 60 days followed by a vote in the legislature after that date expires.
PJI was celebrating the legal victory only to witness the decision get overturned by the state court, which issued a stay pending a review by all of the justices.
"This suspension of our earlier court victory is just temporary,” says PJI attorney Brad Dacus. “And it's only going to last a short time while we prepare to argue this case before the state supreme court of Oregon.”
According to CBS News, Judge Matthew Shirtcliff ruled that Gov. Brown (pictured at left) issued the stay-at-home order using a state statute pertaining to public health emergencies. That statute gives the governor a 28-day limit but Brown extended it another 60 days, which would keep the state in lockdown until July 6.
According to Dacus, Gov. Brown has abused her authority but she is hoping for some political “payback” after making some appointments to the court.