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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

County Judge Nixes Governor's Ban on Church Services in Oregon

A county judge in Oregon has struck down Governor Kate Brown's ban on religious gatherings. Judge Matt Shirtcliff, who incidentally was placed on the bench by Brown, ruled that a Governor's emergency powers only last for 28 days under state law. He also makes this point:
"The Governor has an enormous responsibility to protect the lives of the citizens of our state balanced against the citizens' constitutional rights to freedom of religion which includes how he or she chooses to worship. The Governor's orders are not required for public safety when Plaintiffs can continue to utilize social distancing and safety protocols at larger gatherings involving spiritual worship, just as grocery stores and businesses deemed essential by the Governor have been authorized to do. This court finds that based on these factors the balance of equities tips in favor of Plaintiffs."
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf's emergency powers last for 90 days, after which he can extend them himself.  State Rep. Russ Diamond has introduced legislation that would limit these powers to 45 days, after which legislative approval would be needed.

Updated 9 am:  Oregon's Supreme Court has temporarily reinstated the ban, pending review by the full court.


Anonymous said...

the fight is over timing.
the Gov will most likely rely on
" All existing laws, ordinances, rules and orders inconsistent with ORS 401.165 (Declaration of state of emergency) to 401.236 (Rules) shall be inoperative during the period of time and to the extent such inconsistencies exist."

Anonymous said...

try original article

Sections are pretty clear but goes against slant of story cited.