Oregon governor Kate Brown is bending over backwards to voice her support for the Black Lives Matter protests, which seem to violate her own coronavirus orders.
At the same time, the Democratic Governor is continuing to challenge a rural county court order in which a judge ruled that churches can reopen.
The hypocritical virtue signaller wants to keep churches closed over coronavirus fears, while giving a pass to ‘peaceful protestors’.
Gov. Kate Brown called for sweeping police and criminal justice reforms Monday in her first in-person statement on the massive protests, riots and looting that took place through the weekend in Portland, Eugene and other parts of the state.
She said that even a recent Oregon law that reformed juvenile justice and efforts to reduce harsh penalties that disproportionately impact black people have taken too long and not gone far enough. During the hour-long press conference, Brown said she wants to make the state’s administrators look like the communities they serve, change rules and cultures within agencies and adjust funding streams to make Oregon more reflective and fair to people of color in the state.
“I count myself as one of the many white politician whose good intentions haven’t done enough to tackle the scourge of systematic racism,” Brown said.
Brown said she has decided to push for more work at the state level focused on racial equity and equality, including in response to the pandemic.
Brown spoke for several minutes about how the lack of police accountability and reforms have led to the unjust killings of George Floyd and black people across the country. Only at the end did she call for peaceful protests, saying that the rioting and looting is the product a small group of instigators rather than indicative of broader sentiment.
She made this facebook post in response to the protests-turned-riots:
In another article, Brown issued a statement as she ordered flags across the state to half staff:
“We lower the Oregon flag to half-staff to recognize a profound loss of life, one that affects us all,” Brown said in a statement. “As we mourn the loss of George Floyd, let us remember the many Black lives that have been taken by unnecessary violence. And let us commit ourselves, and our country, to fundamental change.”
While this is going on, Kate Brown is continuing to fight a handful of rural churches who have been challenging her statewide shutdown orders. Baker county judge Matthew Shirtcliff initially issued an injunction on Brown’s orders, but then the state supreme court stepped in that same day to overrule Shirtcliff. Shirtcliff has since refused to withdraw his injunction. Brown is continuing to challenge Judge Shirtcliff in the state supreme court, where Brown has appointed five of the seven current judges (Gee, I wonder how many of them will recuse themselves due to conflict of interest).
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed May 6 in Baker County challenging Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic reiterated their claims, in separate briefs filed Tuesday with the Oregon Supreme Court, that the governor’s orders have legally expired.
Ray Hacke, an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute in Salem who represents the plaintiffs, including Elkhorn Baptist Church in Baker City, argues that because Brown invoked the state’s public health emergency law, she is bound by its 28-day limit on such emergencies.
At issue is the preliminary injunction that Baker County Circuit Court Judge Matt Shirtcliff granted to the plaintiffs on May 18. The Supreme Court later that day issued a temporary stay that set aside the injunction and allowed the state to continue to enforce the governor’s executive orders restricting some businesses and limiting the size of public gatherings, including church services, to 25 people.
Many Oregon counties, including Baker County, could move into phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan on Friday. The limit on people attending church services will increase to 250, although that’s allowed only if the venue is large enough to allow social distancing.
On May 26 Shirtcliff declined to withdraw his decision granting the preliminary injunction.
The Supreme Court then set deadlines for attorneys on both sides to submit written arguments for why the injunction should or should not stand.
The Supreme Court has not given a timeline for oral arguments on the matter, or for when it will issue a decision.
Whether the Court reinstates the preliminary injunction or vacates it, the lawsuit itself could continue, potentially leading to a trial in Baker County Circuit Court.
In related news, healthcare workers who have pushed for the Covid 19 restrictions held a show of support of their own for the protesters. You can’t make this stuff up!
Here’s a video from one of her press conferences, sympathizing with the protesters and giving them free reign:
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