Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown
Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown (Oregon Supreme Court, May 5, 2020): The Oregon Supreme Court temporarily stayed a state trial court’s ruling that granted temporary injunctive relief blocking Governor Brown’s emergency orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Challengers alleged violations of their right to freedom of religion and harms from being unable to maintain their businesses. The trial court concluded that Governor Brown’s emergency order exceeded the statutorily imposed 28-day time period for issuance of public health emergency orders. Any extension requires legislative approval. Further, emergency orders pertaining to the “Closure of Certain Businesses” and “Stay Home and Save Lives” provisions extending well-past that time limit were also held to be invalid. The Oregon Supreme Court ordered the court to lift its injunction or show cause for not doing so; the trial court choose the latter option. The matter is now before the full panel of the Oregon Supreme Court for a subsequent decision forthcoming. Read the order here.