BAKER COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – The Baker County judge who ruled to toss out Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, including her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, has declared he isn’t backing down from his decision.

In a letter on Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Matthew Shirtcliff wrote three lines:

“As you know, the Oregon Supreme Court issued an Alternative Writ of Mandamus on May 23, 2020. I have elected to stand by my original ruling. I will not be vacating the May 18, 2020 Order Granting Preliminary Injunctive Relief and Denying Motion To Dismiss or taking other action.”

On May 18, Shirtcliff argued that Brown didn’t seek the Legislature's approval to extend the state’s stay-at-home orders beyond a 28-day limit.

His ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by 10 churches across Oregon that argued the state's social-distancing directives were unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court ordered a stay just hours later.

Shirtcliff had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to answer to the state Supreme Court’s directive on Saturday that gave him two options: to either vacate his ruling order issued on May 18 which would nullify the lawsuit or present a case for why the higher court shouldn’t vacate the order.

The state must now file a brief with the Supreme Court by Thursday and the plaintiffs/intervenors in the lawsuit must file briefs by next Tuesday, June 2.

The Oregon Judicial Department said that once briefs are filed, "there is not a specific timeline for a decision."

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(16) comments

Frederick Fukov

What good is a State Supreme Court, when they reject the rule of law? This case is easy, and the Baker County Judge is right. Kate violated the law. For her to push the stay home order further than 28 days, she needed to get legislative approval. She did not. She ignored the law, because she thinks that she IS the law. The OSC is nothing more than a political weapon to be used against her political opponents. This is yet another glaring example of corruption from the Oregon Democratic Party.


Now the supreme court will refer to some law, as opposed to actual wording of state Constitution, as it did in GOODWIN II, to uphold Browns actions. But I definitely agree, this judge has giant ballsack to not bend to the pressure he clearly faces from the legal community. He can walk with his head held high at actually doing the Right thing


Great. Keep up the pressure, Bolshevik Brown is buckling under the stress.


Hip hip hooray for this judge! Wish we had more like him. Don't you find it interesting that the supremes took only a few hours to rule on this. He has the law on his side and is totally right in his decision, and they obviously chose to deny all that. Makes you wonder if old Kate paid them off.

Delta Bravo

Nowhere did the Oregon Supreme Court identify the defect in the Judge's ruling. He gave the basis for his opinion. OSC just said "we don't like it" and sent it back. Simple delaying tactic by OSC to subvert just rule of law.


I dont expect much to come out of this but I applaud the Baker County judge for standing by the decision.


Good to see a man of integrity on the bench. It would have been easier to cave to the political whims of the governor and supreme court, but he knows his legal reasoning is sound and is willing to take a stand. Three cheers for Shirtcliff and for the rule of law!!

Mr pickles

EXCELLENT! Stick to your principles....good man.


The dictator and her liberal judges aren't happy about this and all of us should be standing behind the Baker judge.

Frederick Fukov

Oh the games we have to play in this state. If you want a common sense ruling, you have to file somewhere other than Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, or Lane Counties. Then you know the Oregon Supreme Court is going to reject your common sense ruling, regardless of the fact that the original ruling is backed by the actual constitution. Then of course, there's the stall and delay game, hoping those who filed the lawsuit either run out of time, money, interest, or all three. It really suks to be a conservative, living in a vastly red state, controlled by a couple of large pockets of complete idiots.


common sense concervatives. Now there's an oxymoron for you.

pb sir

Good news! I was hoping that this Judge would not be intimidated by this state's liberal Supreme Court in Salem. Now, we'll have an opportunity to hear this get hashed out in a Court setting (and hear the excuses from the Governor's lawyers as to why she declared a state of emergency under the "other" law, instead of the "public health law", since this seems to be a public health issue.


'Baker County judge stands by ruling against Gov. Brown’s pandemic restrictions' Absolutely Awesome [thumbup][thumbup] Stand your ground judge, don't give in. 'Lockdown' Brown needs to put in her place.


Good for Judge Shirtcliff. At the least it will be heard. Governor Brown and any other Oregon governor should not be allowed to make arbitrary decisions that can go on indefinitely. Never mind her past sneaky maneuvers (ie having the legislators vote on a sales tax on new cars without bringing it to the voters).


Good for you Mr.Shirtcliff flush that brown runnie ooze straight down the toilet[thumbup]


At least someone is standing up to Brown.

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