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James Buchal, Multnomah County Republican Chair

This afternoon Senator Dennis Linthicum (SD26, Klamath Falls), Rep. Mike Nearman (HD23, Independence), Rep. Werner Reschke (HD56, Klamath Falls), and Neil Ruggles sued the Governor and State of Oregon in the Circuit Court for the County of Multnomah, challenging the Governor’s power to maintain a continuing state of emergency under ORS Chapter 401.  The lawsuit claims that the Legislature’s attempt to delegate “all police powers vested in the state by the Oregon constitution” is in fact prohibited by several sections of the Oregon Constitution which provide for a separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers.

“This lawsuit raises constitutional claims not previously considered by the Supreme Court of Oregon in its Elkhorn Baptist Church case, which upheld the Governor’s exercise of emergency powers when challenged on statutory grounds,” explained James Buchal, counsel for plaintiffs.  “We hope that the Oregon Supreme Court will follow the Supreme Court of Michigan and other state and federal courts which have recognized that the exercise of very broad statutory emergency powers for months on end infringes the rights of both citizens and legislators to have important general policy rules established by the legislative brand of government.”  A copy of the complaint, which explains the legal challenge in greater detail, is attached hereto.

Complaint 10-16-20

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