Oregon salon owner sues governor, state agencies over coronavirus restrictions

Oregon salon owner sues governor, state agencies over coronavirus restrictions
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A Salem, Ore., salon owner who reopened her business this summer in violation of the state's stay-at-home order has filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownOregon to resume indoor, full-contact sports amid coronavirus surge True democracy stands on the heels of vote by mail expansion Democratic governors urge Biden to remove SALT cap MORE (D) and several government agencies over COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBipartisan group of senators holds immigration talks amid border surge Senate GOP keeps symbolic earmark ban Overnight Energy: Biden reportedly will pledge to halve US emissions by 2030 | Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution MORE owns Glamour Salon and defied the governor's shutdown orders by opening her small business on May 5, The Oregonian reported.

Graham's lawsuit alleges that the governor and state violated her civil and constitutional rights by ordering businesses to shut down during the pandemic. They allege that the governor and state agencies specifically targeted Graham in retaliation for not complying with the order. 


“The conduct of the Defendants represents the absolute worst abuses of power one could possibly imagine,” said Graham’s attorney Ross Day in the court filing.

“Even George Orwell would be shocked and appalled at the Defendants’ conduct. At the heart of the Defendants’ conduct is the Defendants’ ultimate goal: make Plaintiff Lindsey Graham an example to anyone else who may try to experience personal and economic freedom,” Day added.

Graham's attorneys added that she wanted to return to work to provide for her family, alleging in a statement, "Governor Kate Brown, the city of Salem, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division ( OSHA) the Oregon Health Licensing Office and ... Child Protective Services engaged in a systematic effort to harass, bully and punish Lindsey Graham and her family for engaging in legal business activities.”

In May, Graham posted to social media that she would reopen for business in a "semi-private" manner after having remained closed for six weeks under state lockdown orders.

Her pitch to reopen against the orders drew support from conservative activists and other Oregon residents who disagreed with the governor's pandemic orders.


A GoFundMe has been started for Graham to help pay her legal fees and has earned more than $72,000 as of Thursday, according to The Oregonian.

Graham said she filed the lawsuit in federal court as an attempt to avoid judges appointed by Brown and avert any potential "bias" they might have.

Federal judge Michael McShane ruled against nine Oregon businesses in May after they sought an injunction over the pandemic measures forcing businesses to shutter.