Kentucky AG Files Restraining Order to Block Religious School Closures

“Kentucky’s attorney general is suing his own governor in an attempt to keep private religious schools open, despite the state ordering virtual classes during the coronavirus pandemic, “according to Fox News.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the First Liberty Institute on Friday asked a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order that would block Beshear’s order from being implemented. An emergency hearing took place on Monday. In the petition, Cameron argued that Beshear’s latest executive order infringed on Danville Christian Academy’s and other religious schools’ constitutional freedoms.

 

“Governor Beshear continues to impose limits on religious gatherings that are blatantly unconstitutional,” said Roger Byron, senior counsel at First Liberty, which represents the Christian academy.

He added that “[t]he CDC made it clear that one of the safest locations’ students can be at during the pandemic is in school. The court should reject Governor Beshear’s order and follow the CDC and the law.”

Last week, Beshear announced the new restrictions after the state recorded a spike in Covid-19 deaths, and ordered most public and private K-12 schools to stop in-person classes starting Nov. 23. Middle and high schools will be required to remain in remote instruction until January. The governor argued that the state was “experiencing a potentially catastrophic surge in COVID-19 cases” and that Kentucky law granted him the authority to close all public and private schools. The executive order mandated that virtual instruction begin Monday.

Other restrictions that went into effect Friday evening include limits on restaurants and bars, private social gatherings, gyms and event venues, Fox News reports.

On Sunday, Beshear’s office reported the highest number of daily COVID-19  cases for a Sunday on record.

“I wish more than anything that we could go back to normal safely, but we can’t,” Beshear said. “In order to protect our only line of health care workers and all of our fellow Kentuckians, keep gatherings small (eight people or fewer and two households at most), wear a mask, wash your hands and stay six feet apart.”

The governor added: “If we have a major surge of COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving, our hospitals will simply not have the capacity to give everyone the care they need. Nothing is worth that risk.”

First Liberty, a legal organization which exclusively defends religious liberty and represents clients around the country, noted that it obtained a temporary restraining order on a coronavirus related case earlier this year on behalf of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Nicholasville, Kentucky, according to Fox News.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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