Judge rules against Oregon governor's coronavirus orders

Gov. Brown said the decision will be appealed to the state's supreme court

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in May 2015
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in May 2015
(Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns via Getty Images)
Updated: May 18, 2020 - 6:52pm

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is appealing a ruling Monday by a county circuit judge who said that the governor's coronavirus restriction orders were invalid because the legislature did not approve extending them past the allowed 28-day period.

"Plaintiffs have shown that they will be harmed by a 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 a livelihood," the Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff wrote in his decision granting the preliminary injunction.

"The public interest is furthered by allowing people to fully exercise their right to worship and conduct their business," Shirtcliff also wrote. "Additionally, the utilization of social distancing protocols without additional restrictions is in the public interest to restore individual liberties and the ability to restore economic viability in our communities," 

Brown said in a statement that the government would appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.

"The science behind these executive orders hasn’t changed one bit. Ongoing physical distancing, staying home as much as possible, and wearing face coverings will save lives across Oregon," the governor said.

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