Kentucky Supreme Court stays Beshear’s COVID-19 orders

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Friday ruled to keep Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 restrictions in place for now.
Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 8:46 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Supreme Court on Friday ruled to keep Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 restrictions in place for now.

The Court unanimously agreed to stay orders in Boone and Scott circuit courts, both in northern Kentucky, challenging Beshear’s emergency restrictions amid the worldwide coronavirus emergency.

“Given the need for a clear and consistent statewide public health policy and recognizing that the Kentucky legislature has expressly given the Governor broad executive powers in a public health emergency, the Court orders a stay of all orders of injunctive relief until such time as the various orders are properly before the Court with a full record of any evidence and pleadings considered by the lower courts,” the ruling read.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed this week to block Beshear’s previous orders, as well as any future restrictions. At a time when a surge in cases has states considering rolling back their reopenings, Friday’s state Supreme Court ruling keeps the governor’s restrictions in place until they can be fully heard and ruled upon by the Circuit and potentially Appeals courts.

“I’m just relieved,” Beshear said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “(The courts) will hear all the substantive arguments later. I’m not afraid of the courts. That’s what I used to do ... I think the Supreme Court found ... balance, and hopefully that means we can move ahead protecting people.

“My biggest fear was that we were going to have a period of time where we didn’t have the tools we need to fight this war, that we remove the ammunition from our troops and said, ‘Good luck with the enemy.‘”

Before the ruling Friday, Cameron said he understands the demands Beshear is facing, and even admitted he doesn’t oppose wearing a mask.

“I encourage people to wear masks,” Cameron said. “I wear a mask, social distancing is important. Kentuckians have been doing a good job of being a good neighbor to one another, but we just want to make sure his orders are consistent with state law and our constitution.”

Cameron shared his response to the Supreme Court ruling on Twitter:

(Story continues below the tweets)

Read the Court’s full ruling below.

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