Judge rules that Oregon virus restrictions are invalid

Posted at 5:36 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 19:36:40-04

SALEM, Ore.  — A judge in rural Oregon has declared Gov. Kate Brown’s coronavirus restrictions “null and void” statewide because she didn’t have her emergency orders approved by the Legislature.

Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff ruled Monday in a lawsuit brought by 10 churches that said 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.

Brown said she would immediately appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court but the judge declined to stay the order while awaiting that decision.