Hermiston Christian School v. Brown
Description: Hermiston Christian School, a private, religious K-12 Oregon school, filed a lawsuit in federal court against Gov. Katherine Brown to challenge her COVID-19 order threatening private schools with 30 days jail time and $1,250 fines for reopening in-person instruction, despite allowing public schools of identical size in the same county permission to resume in-person classes.
Christian school ends lawsuit after Oregon removes public-school exceptions and allows schools to open
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Mark Lippelmann regarding the voluntary dismissal Wednesday of Hermiston Christian School v. Brown, a lawsuit against Oregon Gov. Katherine Brown’s order that threatened private schools with 30 days of jail time and $1,250 fines for reopening in-person instruction while allowing public schools of identical size in the same county permission to resume in-person classes. The school is withdrawing its lawsuit because Brown eliminated special exceptions that existed for public schools and is now allowing Christian schools like Hermiston to safely open for in-person instruction:
“The governor had no legitimate reason for allowing public schools with 75 or fewer students to provide in-person instruction while denying the same opportunity to small private schools. Because this disparity no longer exists and Hermiston Christian School can now operate like public schools nearby, we are voluntarily withdrawing our lawsuit but will review any future orders to ensure that they comport with the Constitution. Re-opening plans can differ in timing and details, but they must follow the Constitution.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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Mark Lippelmann serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is a key member of the Center for Christian Ministries. Since joining ADF in April 2020, Lippelmann has focused on protecting the freedom of Christian ministries, schools, and churches to exercise their faith without interference. Prior to joining ADF, Lippelmann worked as an attorney for the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C., where he focused on complex class action litigation before federal courts and administrative bodies. Lippelmann also served as a federal law clerk and as an associate in private practice before joining ADF. Lippelmann earned his J.D. from Washburn University School of Law in 2009. While in law school, he served as comments editor of the Washburn Law Journal and was a research assistant for the school’s legal research and writing program. He obtained a B.A. in philosophy from The University of Kansas in 2006. He is admitted to the state bar in Kansas and several federal courts.