In a case fit for a pulp fiction legal thriller, a motel in Oregon is suing their city for forcing them to lock down despite their taking every medically necessary safeguard to keep their customers safe. The motel’s owners allege the city is discriminating against their business because they have permitted other businesses to stay open but not theirs. The owners also believe the lockdowns were unnecessary and a violation of their rights.
Their case then took a bizarre turn when a county commissioner stated the city effectively lied to their citizens about the lockdown order. The city drafted a memo with official-sounding language to trick people into believing they had ordered lockdowns when, in reality, they hadn’t.
However, that memo certainly caused some traditional, America-style activism, and the citizens of the city voted to reject the (nonexistent) lodging lockdown and return to business as usual. This prompted the city to threaten the citizens with a lawsuit that the city never followed through on. However, the city did order (for real this time) lodges must remain closed… or else.
This unusual legal situation caused the motel to sue the city. They allege the city cannot pick and choose whom to enforce laws upon. The city either must enforce the mandate on all the citizens who voted to defy the lockdown orders, or they must revoke the new lockdown orders altogether. Therefore, the case centers around equality and economic liberty.
However, the motel is also suing the city over whether the city can lie to its own citizens to enforce the law. According to the Supreme Court, they can’t. However, this type of case has not risen to the Supreme Court before. Institute for Justice is handling the case.
Many city and county governments are preparing to lock down over the new Omicron variant for COVID-19. However, this variant is less deadly than the Delta variant, as South African doctors have confirmed. South Africa is the first known hotspot for the Omicron variant.
– John Paluska, CNJ Staff