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

37-year-old man missing from Cobble Hill area

He is described as a First Nations man, 5 foot 8 in height

Starvation claims Great Blue Heron in Crofton

No other contributing factors found in death during a necropsy

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Most Read