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Oregon Supreme Court stays lower court ruling that nullified governor’s coronavirus measures

Oregon Supreme Court stays lower court ruling that nullified governor’s coronavirus measures

by William Cummings Claire Withycombe USA TODAY  |  Published on May 20, 2020

SALEM – Late Monday night, the Oregon Supreme Court hit the brakes on a Baker County judge’s order that had invalidated Gov. Kate Brown’s executive actions to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

Baker County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Shirtcliff had ruled earlier Monday that Brown’s executive orders, which restricted public activities to reduce transmission of the virus, were “null and void.” But about eight hours later, the Supreme Court issued a stay, which means Shirtcliff’s earlier order cannot go into effect until the higher court considers the issue.

Opponents of the measures have decried the infringements on their personal and religious freedoms, as well as their ability to earn a living.

As Oregon’s highest court weighs the issue, measures across the country meant to enforce social distancing and slow the spread of the coronavirus – which has killed more than 90,000 people in the U.S. – are facing mounting legal challenges.

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