Attorneys from the Freedom Foundation last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of its ongoing lawsuit on behalf of Slidewaters, a Chelan, Wash., water park whose 2020 summer season was needlessly cut short by the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The petition is based on a nuanced question of law, asking to the court to consider whether a “state legislature’s delegation of unlimited and inherently legislative police power to a state executive violates the separation of powers, particularly where the executive may declare a perpetual state of emergency?”
Several legislatures throughout the U.S. have found themselves in hot water since early 2020 after handing out practically unlimited power to their state executive.
Washington state is a prime example of this, after a statute, as interpreted by the lower federal courts, apparently granted Gov. Jay Inslee essentially unfettered “emergency powers” to deal with the COVID pandemic.
Slidewaters’ petition is focused on a specific aspect of the 9th Circuit’s decision that found it was neither unlawful nor a violation of the separation of powers doctrine for the Washington State Legislature to have abrogated its own duties to write the laws by handing the governor literally the power of life and death for the business, by drafting, enforcing, and adjudicating his own rules.