A resilient Springfield eatery won a satisfying victory last month over the state of Oregon and its oppressive COVID overreach. And it did so thanks to a legal precedent established by the Freedom Foundation.
Along Came Trudy, an independently owned café and party venue, prevailed on June 27, 2022, in its case against the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, which had tried to revoke its business license.
The agency said state law prevented the establishment from allowing food indoors in counties that were designated a “high risk” for COVID spread. The Oregon Court of Appeals granted the business a stay of enforcement while the case proceeds, allowing it to continue to serve patrons as usual.
The Court of Appeals relied on an opinion issued last year in Mooney v. Oregon Health Authority, in which the Freedom Foundation challenged the Oregon Health Authority’s original mask mandate on behalf of residents unable to wear face masks for medical reasons.
Although the court ultimately dismissed the Mooney case as moot because the state had lifted its mask mandate by the time the case was set to be heard, the court agreed with the Freedom Foundation’s argument that the state improperly imposed the mandate and that the executive order could not be enforced.
The Oregon Health Authority lacked the authority to issue an executive order only the governor can impose. Moreover, the mandate was not filed with the Secretary of State, as executive orders must be.
In granting the stay of the suspension for Along Came Trudy, the court reasoned that, just as the plaintiffs in Mooney demonstrated a legitimate argument that the mandate was invalid, Along Came Trudy demonstrated a sufficient claim to justify a stay on the license suspension.
“Along Came Trudy is a small, locally owned business run by honest, hardworking Oregonians,” said Freedom Foundation Attorney Rebekah Millard. “It’s rewarding to see that the cases we’ve fought in the past are helping to set good precedent to support Oregon’s small businesses and to protect them from intrusive government overreach.”