10 Churches, 20 Pastors Sue Oregon Governor Kate Brown Over Religious Gathering Ban

Friday, May 8, 2020
By Paul Martin

By Brock Simmons
TheGatewayPundit.com
May 8, 2020

Religious groups are standing up to the anti-Constitutional orders of Oregon governor Kate Brown. They filed an injunctive relief lawsuit against the state, seeking to reopen their churches in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown orders.

Baker City Herald reports:

A group of Oregon churches and individuals, including as lead plaintiff the Elkhorn Baptist Church in Baker City, is suing Gov. Kate Brown claiming her executive orders imposing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic are unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs filed the suit in Baker County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

They are represented by attorney Ray D. Hacke of the Pacific Justice Institute in Salem. Hacke said the Institute is a nonprofit law firm that defends religious liberty. It opened its Salem office about 2 years ago.

The plaintiffs are asking for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the governor from enforcing the executive orders.

Hacke said Thursday afternoon that he also filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order that would prevent the governor from imposing terms of the executive order, including the prohibition on gatherings of people if participants can’t maintain social distancing.

Although religious freedom is an aspect of the lawsuit, Hacke said the chief legal issue is the governor’s authority under the Oregon Constitution.

In the lawsuit he cites the section of the Constitution — Article X-A — that authorizes the governor to declare a state of emergency due to a public health crisis.

Hacke said the plaintiffs don’t dispute that Brown has such authority due to the pandemic. The governor declared the state of emergency on March 8.

But Hacke points to a section in Article X-A which states that the governor’s emergency powers can extend for no more than 30 days unless the Legislature, on at least a three-fifths vote of both the House and the Senate, agrees to extend the governor’s emergency powers.

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