Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D-Portland) convened the Oregon legislature into emergency session on Wednesday, which is expected to last two or three days. The agenda has several bills, including HB 4212. That bill includes a clause written by Martha Walters, the chief justice of Oregon’s Supreme Court, at the request of Brown. This clause will allow Walters to suspend due process for up to sixty days if she deems it necessary during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of the legislature reining Gov. Brown in after her illegal orders under the CCP coronavirus pandemic, they have proposed to expand the emergency powers of state government.
They’ll totally give them back after the emergency ends, though.
The relevant sections of the bill (in bold) don’t pass constitutional muster, but will probably pass anyway:
Authorizes Chief Justice of Supreme Court, during emergency period and for 60 days thereafter, and upon finding of good cause, to extend or suspend time period or time requirement in rule or statute in specified court proceedings. Authorizes presiding judge of circuit court to extend custody and postpone trials upon finding of good cause, and within specified limits. Authorizes Chief Justice to direct or permit electronic court appearances. Extends time to commence civil action or give notice of civil claim if expiration of time falls within emergency period or within 90 days after end of emergency period.
Immunizes owner, officer, operator, employee or agent of isolation shelter, or public entity, from civil liability that is predicated on claim of illness, injury or death from COVID-19. Exempts from immunity conduct that constitutes gross negligence, malice or fraud, that is willful, intentional or reckless, that is criminal or that is unrelated to COVID-19.
Requires Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to adopt temporary and permanent rules establishing emergency temporary infectious disease standards. Directs Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules regarding race and ethnicity data collection by health care providers. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
Quick question: What is an isolation shelter, exactly?
More to the point, any emergency going forward can justify the courts suspending due process in any case. Of course, the bill contains an emergency clause, which means it takes effect immediately upon passing and severely limits the power of the people to refer it to the general ballot for a vote.