Lawsuit argues Inslee is picking and choosing which rights to uphold
The Freedom Foundation just filed a lawsuit challenging Governor Jay Inslee’s coronavirus emergency proclamations on behalf of a family owned and operated water park out in Chelan. Freedom Foundation litigation counsel Sydney Phillips is handling the lawsuit and joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss.
“The key here is the fact that Jay Inslee doesn’t have the authority to issue a state of emergency, to issue the subsequent proclamations, and then L&I (Labor and Industries) has not been granted similar authority to be able to, as you put it, weaponize the governor’s proclamations,” she said.
“So it really has created a system that is abusing the separate branches of the government and is genuinely, negatively impacting businesses in Washington state.”
The department can essentially fine a business over $10,000 if they’re not following the rules and regulations as set forth in the proclamation.
“They actually limit it to business activity. So if your business is able to be open, you could still be fined up to $10,000, or possibly more depending on the violations that L&I arbitrarily decide that you have violated based on the governor’s order.”
“In the case of my client Slidewaters, they’re just simply unable to open. They operate a water park and it has been decided that phase three is the earliest time that something like a water park could be open, and they run the risk of being fined if they choose to defy Governor’s Inslee’s proclamations.”
Will they defy the proclamations?
“Not entirely sure yet, but it’s definitely a conversation that we’re all having because this could be the end to businesses like Slidewaters and other businesses that rely on groups of people coming together.”
As Jason suggested, there were many inconsistencies in the application of this order. Initially you couldn’t go fishing alone on a boat, and now there are thousands of individuals who are protesting. The governor said this was their right, but when it came to going to church, those rights apparently didn’t exist in an emergency situation.
Is there anything that he’s doing now that would dismiss the idea that we still have a public health emergency as he originally defined it?
“As we argued in our motion for a temporary restraining order, he essentially created a system of winners and losers. And so he’s recognized certain fundamental rights that people have, while still ignoring other fundamental rights, such as the pursuit of a common calling … those are the kind of rights that are being violated and that Governor Inslee has just decided that he does not want to support or uphold.”
Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.