FRANKFORT, Ky. – Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) filed a brief supporting a Louisville church wanting to hold drive-in church services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cameron filed an amicus brief with the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky supporting On Fire Christian Center (On Fire). The brief goes on to say that Governor Andy Beshear’s (R-KY) March 19 order prohibiting mass gatherings unconstitutionally prohibits drive-in services.
Cameron said, “Arbitrarily targeting the practice of religion, as the Beshear administration’s order does, plainly violates the First Amendment. As long as business operations are allowed to continue during the pandemic while following social distancing guidelines, churches must be allowed to hold drive-in services without fear of targeting from their elected leaders.”
Beshear has said drive-in services can be held as long as churchgoers adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines.
On Fire wants an injunction against Louisville Metro Government after Mayor Greg Fischer (D) prohibited drive-in services. Last week a federal judge approved the church’s request for a temporary restraining order, which allowed the church to hold a drive-in service on Easter.
Cameron’s brief says the actions by Louisville Metro violate the First Amendment and Kentucky law because it says the Governor’s order only targets churchgoers, but not other organizations or businesses.
There are currently three pending federal lawsuits regarding the constitutionality of the Beshear administration’s executive order as it applies to the practice of religion.
Beshear addressed one of the lawsuits Wednesday during his daily briefing and said, “Here in Kentucky, there are so many different ways to worship, and all but one church in this commonwealth are engaged in them,” Beshear said in the briefing. “You can do it virtually and you can do it at a drive-in service, and in many states, they are not allowing those drive-in services like we are. So, this opportunity to worship, which is so important, is still there. We just ask people to choose one of the versions that doesn’t spread the coronavirus, and I think that’s what our faith calls us to do.”