HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating reports that a circuit court judge is endangering the health of workers and jurors by ignoring a statewide mask mandate in his courtroom.
The Oregonian/OregonianLive reports in a story on Saturday that Washington County Circuit Judge Charles Bailey describes the mask mandate as a “nanny state” requirement.
He doesn’t wear a face covering and isn’t requiring others to do so in his courtroom in Hillsboro in western Oregon.
Bailey told attorneys and jurors in the Oct. 29 recording that it was up to them whether they wanted to wear a mask. The incident occurred as coronavirus infections surge in the state.
“We don’t need the nanny state looking over you,” Bailey told attorneys.
Seventeen prospective jurors then entered the courtroom.
“As you all can see, I’m not wearing a mask,” Bailey told them. “It’s very uncomfortable for me to wear, so I know they’re uncomfortable for you all. And so when you’re in my courtroom, I treat everybody as adults, which you all get to make adult decisions that you think are the best for you and those around you.”
It’s not clear if any jurors took off their masks.