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."
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