Judge rejects legal challenges to Inslee’s emergency orders

The legal challenge contended “the emergency has been contained.”

Associated Press

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

Filed in May, the legal challenge contended “the emergency has been contained” and that ongoing restrictions for businesses, workers and residents weren’t legally justified, The Seattle Times reported.

The legal challenge was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Judge Benjamin Settle wrote in a court order dated Friday that federal lawsuits against state officials are allowed in certain instances in which the state official has a connection with the enforcement of an allegedly unconstitutional act. However, Inslee’s lawyers persuasively argued that while the governor issues emergency orders, other officials actually enforce those orders, Settle wrote.

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

Settle also on Friday denied another legal challenge seeking a preliminary injunction against Inslee’s emergency powers. The judge rejected that challenge — brought by Republican gubernatorial candidate and anti-tax initiative promoter 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 coronavirus increasing across Washington, Inslee this week tightened some restrictions including operations at restaurants, bars, gyms and for weddings and funerals.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

FILE - In this May 24, 2019, file photo, teachers and students from Northwest Montessori School in Seattle examine the carcass of a gray whale after it washed up on the coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, just north of Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park. Researchers say the population of gray whales off the West Coast of the United States has fallen by nearly one-quarter since 2016, resembling a similar die-off two decades ago. In a paper released Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, NOAA Fisheries reported that surveys counted about 6,000 fewer migrating whales last winter, 21,000 as compared to 27,000 in 2016. (AP Photo/Gene Johnson, File)
Gray whale population drops by quarter off U.S. West Coast

Scientists believe that the number of whales may have exceeded what the environment can support.

Algae bloom is seen in June 2018 in Budd Inlet, at the southern end of Puget Sound in Thurston County. (Department of Ecology)
Human-caused ‘dead zones’ threaten the health of Puget Sound

Wastewater treatment plants account for about 70% of the excess nutrients.

Navy seeks to conduct SEAL training in Whidbey, Camano parks

The deadline to register to participate in public comment is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22.

Jill Johnson (left) and Greg Banks
Bill to expand sports betting introduced in state Legislature

A similar proposal failed last year, but supporters say the new effort has bipartisan support.

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman arrives to talk to reporters, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down Eyman's Initiative 976, a measure that would have steeply discounted the price of car registrations at $30 while gutting transportation budgets across Washington state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge weighs Eyman’s fate as civil trial draws to a close

The serial initiative promoter is accused of campaign finance violations. His lawyer says he did nothing wrong.

West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Wastewater spills into Puget Sound, Lake Washington

About 20% of the 10 million gallons of untreated water was sewage, and 80% was stormwater.

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (right), D-Medina, with U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Artondale, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. (Contributed photo) 20210120
Washingtonians bear witness to ‘democracy moving forward’

In “a moment to breathe and hope,” Snohomish County leaders witnessed the swearing in of President Joe Biden.

Police: Thief berated mom for leaving kid in car he stole

“He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police.”

Most Read