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

Two people die in outdoor shower, in Tulameen

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

VIDEO: Crews in Summerland film Christmas parade in July

Filming, on July 31, took place during the hottest days of 2020

UPDATE: More personnel at Dry Lake fire, 43 properties remain under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Princeton man faces charges after allegedly receiving ‘drunk driving’ lesson

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 1

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

First degree murder charges for North Okanagan woman

59-year-old woman charged in Round Lake suspicious death incident

Splatsin Elder struggles to stop tubers from accessing his private property

Nathan Kinbasket has a certificate of possession on the area

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

Paper mache Dr. Bonnie Henry stars in North Okanagan exhibit

Beyond the Mask art show kicks off in Village of Lumby

Most Read