The day after one federal judge ruled to protect journalists from the Trump administration’s invasion of unmarked, militarized Department of Homeland Security thugs, another federal judge rejected a lawsuit by the state of Oregon seeking to force the federal troops to identify themselves and to place limits on their ability to detain protesters.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum lacked standing to bring the lawsuit protecting Oregon residents from federal abuses. The state, according to Mosman, “has not shown it is vindicating an interest that is specific to the state itself.” This is bad news because Mosman declined to put the brakes on the Trump administration’s abuses (not that the DHS thugs would have obeyed a court order anyway), but the ruling at least does not foreclose the possibility of successful suits by other parties.
“In the first place,” Mosman wrote, “although it involves allegations of harm done to protesters by law enforcement, no protester is a plaintiff here.” So a protester, or someone representing them, could have standing. (Hi there, ACLU!)
Additionally, Mosman objected, the suit “is not seeking redress for any harm that has been done to protesters. Instead, it seeks an injunction against future conduct, which is also an extraordinary form of relief.” Psst, judge: federal forces are committing the same abuses night after night. It is ongoing conduct.
In any case, these things “render the standing inquiry an unusually high bar to clear,” and, phew, give Mosman an out he was apparently looking for. The fight to protect the people of Portland and other U.S. cities continues, though.