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Oklahoma Supreme Court allows Trump rally to proceed as planned; Tulsa mayor rescinds curfew

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday ruled that President Trump’s upcoming rally in Tulsa can go ahead as planned despite concerns about coronavirus — just as Trump announced that a curfew in the city had been lifted for the rally.

“I just spoke to the highly respected Mayor of Tulsa, G.T. Bynum, who informed me there will be no curfew tonight or tomorrow for our many supporters attending the #MAGA Rally. Enjoy yourselves – thank you to Mayor Bynum!” the president tweeted.

Bynum on Friday issued a statement and said he was “told the curfew is no longer necessary.”

“Last night, I enacted a curfew at the request of Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, following consultation with the United States Secret Service based on intelligence they had received,” he said in a news release, the Tulsa World reported. “Today, we were told the curfew is no longer necessary so I am rescinding it.”

Bynum, a Republican, had declared a civil emergency and announced a curfew near the arena where Trump plans to hold a campaign rally on Saturday.

Bynum, in his order, said “in the interest of national security” he would establish a “federal exclusion zone” in the vicinity of the rally. He cited “crowds in excess of 100,000” and opposition protests as well as recent “civil unrest” — referring to protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd that in the early days escalated into looting and violence in some cities. Additionally, he had warned that he had information that organized groups known for violence were traveling to the city “for the purposes of causing unrest in and around the rally.”

He imposed a curfew in the vicinity of the rally from late Thursday night to 6 a.m. on Saturday — the day of the rally — and from the conclusion of the rally Saturday night until 6 a.m. on Sunday. But Trump announced that it had been lifted — a boon to the Trump supporters who have been camped nearby in parking lots waiting for the rally.

Around the same time as his tweet, the state’s Supreme Court ruled against the request to force everyone attending to wear a mask and stay at least six feet apart from one another — a policy that would have complicated the massive event with thousands of people.

The court ruled that the two local residents among those filing the suit couldn’t establish that they have a clear legal right to the relief they sought. In a concurring opinion, two justices wrote that the state’s reopening plan is “permissive, suggestive and discretionary.”

“Therefore, for lack of any mandatory language in the (plan), we are compelled to deny the relief requested,” that opinion said.

The rally marks Trump’s first since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country. States are reopening, but many are doing so in phases and requiring residents to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

The Trump campaign said it takes “safety seriously,” noting that organizers are providing masks and hand sanitizer and doing temperature checks for all attendees.

Earlier in the day, Trump pointedly warned “anarchists” and other “agitators” not to disrupt the rally.

“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” Trump tweeted Friday.

“It will be a much different scene.”

Source: Fox News – Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.