The Oklahoma Supreme Court is expected to hear a case today arguing the president's Tulsa campaign rally scheduled for Saturday should be required to follow COVID-19 prevention measures.
Tulsa attorneys Clark Brewster and Paul DeMuro filed the lawsuit, along with an emergency petition for an injunction, on Tuesday, on behalf of the Greenwood Centre, the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation and two individuals, against ASM Global, parent company of the firm that manages the BOK Center in Tulsa, where the president's rally is scheduled to take place Saturday.
The suit notes an "alarming uptick in COVID-19 infections in Tulsa County," and seeks to "protect against a substantial, imminent, and deadly risk to the community."
On Monday, Tulsa County reported an increase rate of COVID-19 cases of more than 16% — its highest rate of new cases since the pandemic started, according to the court filing.
Having an indoor rally under those conditions would constitute a "super-spreader" event in downtown Tulsa, according to the filing.
Brewster and DeMuro stated in their filing the case does not seek to bar the president from having a rally Saturday "or any other day."
"This case is not about the president," they wrote. "If ASM Global planned to host an event for Joe Biden, the Oklahoma City Thunder, or Garth Brooks, without following required social distancing protocols, plaintiffs would file the same action seeking the same relief."
They noted ASM Global has cancelled all other mass-gatherings at BOK Center until the end of July.
The suit seeks a court order requiring ASM Global to institute Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing protocols and mandatory use of face masks during the rally.
"Simply put, this Court should order ASM Global to follow the same rules that any other individual or business desiring to host a mass-gathering indoor event in Tulsa County would be required to follow," the attorneys stated in their filing.
Tulsa County District Court denied an emergency hearing on the petition on Tuesday. The case comes to the Oklahoma Supreme Court today following a petition filed that same day by Brewster and DeMuro.
Brewster's office said it remains unclear what time the motion will be heard before the court today.