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Lower Court Faces Choice With COVID-19 Ruling

The Oregon Supreme Court in Salem, Ore., on Sept. 26, 2019.
Bradley W. Parks
The Oregon Supreme Court in Salem, Ore., on Sept. 26, 2019.

UPDATE (11:29 a.m. PT, May 26) — Oregon's high court said Saturday that Baker County Circuit Court faces a choice, which could shape the fate of a legal challenge to Gov. Kate Brown's coronavirus-related executive orders. 

On Saturday, the state Supreme Court ruled that Judge Matthew Shirtcliff must decide by 5 p.m. Tuesday whether to vacate his earlier ruling to invalidate Brown's orders, or he can argue further before Oregon's high court about why that ruling was correct.

Shirtcliff had ruled that Brown’s public health provisions could not extend beyond 28 days, due to a specific section of state law. The governor’s initial emergency declaration lasted for 60 days, and she extended it for an additional 60 days earlier this month.

Hours after the Baker County court’s decision, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a stay, blocking the invalidation of Brown’s orders.

This story has been updated.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meerah Powell
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