Kentucky AG files restraining order against governor to block religious school closures
The Kentucky attorney general is suing his own governor in an attempt to keep private religious schools open, despite the state’s order for virtual classes during the coronavirus pandemic.
An emergency hearing took place on Monday after Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the First Liberty Institute filed a motion seeking a temporary injunction against Governor Andy Beshear. In the petition, Cameron argued that Beshear’s latest executive order infringed the constitutional freedoms of Danville Christian Academy and other religious schools.
“Governor Beshear continues to place limits on religious gatherings which are patently unconstitutional,” said Roger Byron, senior counsel at First Liberty, which represents the Christian academy.
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He added that “[t]he CDC has made it clear that one of the safest places students can be during the pandemic is at school. The court should overrule Governor Beshear’s order and follow the CDC and the law.
Others, such as UNICEF, have warned of the impact the closures have on the lives of children. Last week, the UN agency said the evidence showed that “the net benefits of keeping schools open outweigh the costs of closing them.”
Beshear’s executive order, which was released last week, argued that the state was “experiencing a potentially catastrophic increase in COVID-19 cases” and that Kentucky law gave it the power to shut down all public schools and private for K-12 classes. While it’s not clear how the court will rule, the executive order demanded that the virtual trial begin on Monday.
The trial was just one in a series across the country that raised questions about the extent to which authorities could limit constitutional freedoms when declaring a public health crisis. Other jurisdictions like New York City have also announced closures as the country has seen an increase in the number of cases.
On Sundays, the Beshear office reported highest number of daily COVID-19 cases for a Sunday on record.
âI wish more than anything that we could get back to normal safely, but we can’t,â Beshear said. or less and two households at most), wear a mask, wash your hands and stay six feet apart. “
The governor added, âIf we have a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving, our hospitals will simply not have the capacity to provide everyone with the care they need. Nothing beats that risk.
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The Courier-Journal reported that Beshear spokeswoman Crystal Staley referred to a previous Kentucky Supreme Court ruling, which unanimously confirmed Beshear’s power to issue decrees during the pandemic.
First Freedom, which represents clients across the country, noted that he obtained a temporary restraining order on a coronavirus-related case earlier this year on behalf of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Nicholasville, Ky.