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Oregon’s far-left Gov. Kate Brown is apparently a big supporter of Black Lives Matter protests, but at the same time through her hand-picked state supreme court, she is trying to continue restrictions on houses of worship.
In May, Baker County Judge Matt Shirtcliff blocked the governor’s stay-at-home rules for churches and businesses essentially based on the premise that state law limits such emergency orders to no longer than 28 days. The judge ruled that Brown’s orders were “null and void.”
That same day, however, the state’s high court put Judge Shirtcliff’s preliminary injunction on hold and said the governor could continue to limit church services and other public gatherings to 25 people.
The legal wrangling continues, and the case is now on the supreme court’s docket, with lawyers on both sides required to submit briefs. At this point, there is no timetable set for oral arguments on the key issue of whether Judge Shirtcliff’s injunction should be reinstated, let alone when the court could conceivably issue a ruling.
In the meantime, Gov. Brown has approved so-called phase 2 of the COVID-19 economic reopening which applies to 26 Oregon counties including Baker County.
Under phase 2, ‘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 Baker City Herald explained.
Governors and mayors, primarily Democrats like Brown, locked down their constituents for months during the coronavirus outbreak, with illogical definitions of what activities they considered essential vs. non-essential. They also intensely disliked grassroots protesters who simply wanted to go back to work rather than be stuck in house arrest.
Social distancing decrees by such officials seem to have evaporated once the George Floyd-related protests emerged. During the pandemic, elected officials seemingly ignored the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits governmental interference with the free exercise of religion.
Downtown Portland (and elsewhere in the state) experienced protests and riots in recent days, which caused the governor to reluctantly deploy 50 members of the Oregon National Guard as support personnel to back up Portland cops.
Predictably, Brown is calling for “sweeping police and criminal justice reforms” in the aftermath of the civil unrest along with a push for more diversity in state administration.
In a recent press conference, “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,” Oregon Live reported.
“‘I count myself as one of the many white politicians whose good intentions haven’t done enough to tackle the scourge of systematic racism,’ Brown added.
Ironically perhaps, most of the systemic racism seems to be occurring in jurisdictions controlled by Democrats.
Brown plans to champion more funding for communities of color. History has shown, however, that the so-called helping professions usually cash in, with no actual improvements to those they supposedly serve.
Late last month, President Trump officially declared all places of worship essential and demanded that the nations’ governors allow them to reopen.
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