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Lawsuit challenges Governor Brown's mask requirement

Limited-government advocacy group the Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging Governor Kate Brown's statewide mask requirement this week, including complaints from Lane County residents.

Posted: Jul 25, 2020 6:39 AM

SALEM, Ore.-- Limited-government advocacy group the Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging Governor Kate Brown's statewide mask requirement this week, including complaints from Lane County residents.

The lawsuit requested an emergency stay from the Oregon Court of Appeals in order to invalidate the mask requirement, citing a lack of state procedural standards, including a notice of a proposed rule, 21 days advance notice to allow public input and a fiscal impact statement. They also claim the requirement violates Oregonian's First Amendment rights.

The requirement mandates masks in all public indoor spaces and outdoors when six feet of social distancing can't be maintained. The rule was expanded statewide on July 1.

Three complainants were listed in the lawsuit, two of which are from Lane County.

Resident Kevin Rubio said in a signed declaration that he refuses to wear a mask as a sign of protest against Governor Brown's actions, which he believes have infringed on his rights. 

"I do not want to be forced to express approval for the governor, nor wear a mask covering my face and hiding who I am, when there is no need for me to contain any virus," Rubio wrote. "I do not have coronavirus."

Lane County Resident Shannan Pozzi wrote that she is a survivor of domestic abuse and attempted murder by suffocation. She said wearing masks brings back the trauma of that event.

"Due to the mask mandate and the fear of being smothered and suffocated again due to someone forcing me to wear a mask ... I have had to start going to therapy again," she said. 

Pozzi claimed she has been denied entrance to a Subway restaurant and verbally assaulted in a Bi-Mart. 

The Freedom Foundation is also behind a similar lawsuit that was filed in Washington earlier in July.

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