Oregon Supreme Court: Vacate or defend ruling blocking COVID-19 restrictions
The Baker County Circuit Court that blocked Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's COVID-19 restrictions was ordered by the Oregon Supreme Court on Saturday to either vacate its ruling — or present a case for why it should not do so.
The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case.
After receiving briefs on the appeal of the lower court ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court issued an alternative writ of mandamus the next day. It gave the lower court until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, to decide.
Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff ruled on May 18 that Brown erred by not seeking the Oregon Legislature's approval to extend the stay-at-home orders beyond a 28-day limit. That ruling was halted within hours after the state appealed it.
Shirtcliff had issued his opinion in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by 10 churches around Oregon that argued the state's social-distancing directives were unconstitutional.
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