How long legally can Inslee keep extending stay-at-home order?
Governor Jay Inslee is going to extend the stay-at-home order past May 4, but the order is leading some to wonder whether or not any of this is constitutional.
State Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm) joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss the legal implications of extending the stay-at-home order. Is this order constitutional in his view?
“First of all, I’m not an attorney, but it is allowed under our laws passed as far back as the 1960s,” Wilcox said. “Just to correct a rumor out there: His major emergency orders, especially the stay-at-home order, is allowed by Washington state law without any review by the Legislature.”
“There are a few of his orders that do require agreement if they’re going to be extended. But the 30-day limit doesn’t apply to his stay-at-home order or his state of emergency declaration.”
So how long, without the Legislature weighing in, can this go? In theory, this could go on in perpetuity. It’s up to the governor.
“Well, what it says in law is until the emergency is over … at this point, it really is up to the governor to decide how long the emergency lasts.”
Does the caucus as a whole generally agree with this interpretation?
“I would say that that is the general sense of the caucus, and it’s not that any of us like that interpretation … Now I have also inquired with some prominent attorneys about whether or not a challenge in court would be successful and what I have heard is that over the last 100 some years in general, governors’ emergency powers have been upheld in federal court, as long as they seem reasonable and in conformance with what other states are doing.”
One issue that is being challenged right now in the court, courtesy of the GOP gubernatorial candidate Joshua Freed, whether or not the restriction on places of worship actually goes too far.
“Yeah, and that is also being tested across the country, and that is one where the challenges are winning. That depends I believe on the specific kinds of restrictions, but I think it’s a darn good thing that that is being tested right now.”
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