OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that President Donald Trump’s first in-person rally since March can continue as planned despite legal challenges.
A lawsuit was filed earlier this week amid concerns about the continued spread of COVID-19 in the community.
After President Trump announced that he was holding a rally in Tulsa, he announced that hundreds of thousands of people had signed up for tickets to the event.
It is set to be Trump’s first in-person rally since the coronavirus pandemic caused states to begin shutting down businesses and large venues.
Organizers say they plan to allow around 20,000 people into the BOK Center with thousands more will be moved to an overflow area.
“If you were attempting to design a way to spread the virus as efficiently as possible in a community, you would plan this event,” said Paul DeMuro, a Tulsa attorney.
DeMuro and Clark Brewster filed the lawsuit, arguing the Trump’s team should be forced to follow CDC guidelines for large events and that social distancing and mask wearing should be mandatory.
“Having this congested collection of people in this setting will spread it very rapidly and result in certain mass illness and death,” said Brewster.
Late Thursday afternoon, the BOK Center requested a written plan detailing the steps the Trump Administration will take for health and safety, including plans for social distancing.
The Trump Administration responded by saying that safety is important and the campaign would be handing out masks and hand sanitizer, and that temperature checks would be performed at the door.
Joe Farris, the attorney representing the parent company for the BOK Center, said Thursday in the Supreme Court hearing that the venue has simply done everything it can do to ensure safety.
“We certainly agree that the CDC believes this type of event is ill-advised,” said Farris.
DeMuro responded by saying, “It’s a pretty shocking admission to say we know this event is going to be dangerous.”
On Friday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit.
According to online court records, the court ruled that “Petitioners cannot establish the necessary elements for a writ of mandamus, specifically that Petitioners possess a clear legal right to the relief they seek.”
Oklahoma GOP Chairman David McLain told KFOR Thursday that he plans on being at the rally Saturday and sees no reason why any plans should be changed.
“You can guarantee that there’s an absolute plan in place to follow the CDC guidelines,” said McLain.