Inslee says he’s confident he’ll prevail in lawsuits seeking to end state of emergency

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said a lawsuit in Chelan County seeking to end the state of emergency in Washington over COVID-19 and lift restrictions on businesses and others is having no bearing on his decision-making.

Responding to a question at a Thursday news conference about a possible Monday ruling on the suit in Chelan County Superior Court, Inslee said he’s confident the state will prevail.

“We believe we’re on very firm ground, both by Washington law, by statute, and also by the state and federal constitutions,” Inslee said.

Inslee said he said he not only has the right, but also the obligation to act to save people’s lives.

“Having said that, I respect people’s right to go to court. They have a right to challenge decisions in our government,” he said.

A hearing on the lawsuit was held in Wenatchee Thursday morning, with Judge Kristen Ferrera saying it will resume at 2 p.m. Monday.

The suit was filed on behalf of 30 Chelan County government and business leaders, as well as others.

Ferrera was asked by Bainbridge Island attorney John Ard to deny a request by Inslee’s attorneys to move the case to Thurston County and to issue an order ending Inslee’s emergency powers until the case is resolved.

Ferrera recently tested positive for COVID-19 and conducted the hearing remotely from her home.

A similar lawsuit filed in Douglas County is scheduled for a hearing Friday in Okanogan County. That suit was moved out of Douglas County because all three county commissioners are listed as plaintiffs in the suit.