An Oregon judge has declared coronavirus restrictions enacted by Gov. Kate Brown (D) "null and void" because her emergency orders weren't approved by the state legislature after 28 days, according to KJW8.
Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff made the ruling Monday in a lawsuit brought by churches who had sued saying the social-distancing directives were unconstitutional.
The suit had also argued that emergency powers only last for a month and after that Brown would have needed legislative approval. The judge agreed. -KJW8
Brown says she will immediately appeal the ruling with the state Supreme Court, which would "ensure we can continue to safeguard the health of all Oregonians — including frontline health care workers, those living in nursing homes, workers in agriculture and food processing plants, and Oregonians with underlying health conditions –– while the legal process moves forward."
An attorney representing churches, Ray Hacke, said during a Monday phone interview that the ruling nullifies Brown's ban on church gatherings for worship - but also invalidates the entire stay-at-home order.
"The stay-at-home order is no longer in effect. It is invalidated. If people want to get their haircut, they can. They can leave their home for any reason whether it’s deemed essential in the eye of the state or not," he said, adding that the ruling was a vindication for both the freedom of religion and that of all Oregonians.
" Praise God. I’m excited, and I’m glad that the judge saw that there are limitations on the governor’s power, even in the midst of emergencies," said Hacke.