Oregon Prisons Immune from Liability for Covid Prioritization

The Oregon District Court actually bought some Oregon inmates’ arguments, in Maney v Brown, that having a lower vaccine prioritization than correction officers constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit reversed that decision.

In the Court’s opinion, written by Judge Jennifer Sung, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act makes the State of Oregon immune from prosecution because the state administered the vaccination. Given the clarity of the statute, I’m surprised this case got that far. When lawmakers make immunity explicit in a bill, we should expect courts to follow suit.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of We were winning when I was there.