In this photo taken Tuesday, June 16, 2020, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee talks about the coronavirus outbreak following a briefing at Yakima Valley College in Yakima, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Federal judge rejects legal challenges to Washington governor’s emergency orders to curb spread of COVID-19

Legal challenge contended that ongoing restrictions for businesses, workers and residents weren’t legally justified

A federal judge Friday denied a request for a preliminary injunction against Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency coronavirus orders that had been brought by some Republican state lawmakers.

Filed in May by those legislators and other plaintiffs, the legal challenge contended “the emergency has been contained” and that ongoing restrictions for businesses, workers and residents weren’t legally justified.

The legal challenge —one of several seeking to stop Inslee’s use of emergency powers to slow the spread of the virus —was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

In a court order dated Friday, Judge Benjamin Settle wrote that federal lawsuits against state officials are allowed in certain instances where the state official being sued has a connection with the enforcement of an allegedly unconstitutional act.

But attorneys for Inslee persuasively argued that while the governor issues emergency orders, Settle wrote, it is other officials who actually enforce those orders.

Since the pandemic began in March there has been little enforcement of Inslee’s emergency orders.

Settle on Friday also denied a second legal challenge seeking a preliminary injunction against Inslee’s emergency powers. The judge rejected that challenge —brought by Republican gubernatorial candidate and anti-tax activist Tim Eyman and some other plaintiffs —on similar grounds.

The two orders come roughly a week after a judge in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Washington rejected a lawsuit by a water park in Chelan County seeking to block Inslee’s emergency restrictions on businesses.

The conservative Freedom Foundation —a frequent opponent of the governor who is representing Slidewaters water park —is appealing that decision.

With cases of the new coronavirus rising across Washington, Inslee on Thursday tightened some restrictions in his four-part reopening plan being used by Washington’s 39 counties, including on how restaurants and bars can operate.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning Start: A Texas law allows astronauts to vote from space

Your morning start for Friday, August 14, 2020

Piano set up in Penticton downtown

Initiative an effort to bring music and creativity to the streets

Invasive mussel monitoring stations detect 10 boats

Boats were headed to Okanagan and Thompson regions

Elderly man who offered candy to Penticton children, doesn’t pose threat: RCMP

The man was reportedly seen at the Columbus Park Property attempting to lure children with candy

COVID-19 outbreak at Okanagan Correctional Centre, involves 3 staff

Three staff involved in possible exposure, health officials say

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

87-year-old Salmon Arm woman sinks hole-in-one

The Aug. 12 ace is Helen Bobbitt’s fourth.

COVID-19 exposure on WestJet flight to Kelowna

Those in WestJet flight 461 from Calgary to Kelowna were possibly exposed

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due.

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Man who drove into music festival crowd sentenced to 14 months in jail

Several people seriously hurt during event held near Princeton

Most Read