KENTUCKY — Gov. Andy Beshear (D) filed a petition asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to uphold his COVID-19 executive orders recently challenged in court, going around the Court of Appeals system.
“The Commonwealth is in a life-and-death battle against COVID-19 — the gravest threat to public health in over a century,” reads the petition. “The stakes could not be higher to Kentuckians.”
Earlier this month, Boone and Scott County judges issued temporary restraining orders against several of Beshear’s executive orders, allowing Florence Speedway and other local businesses to increase their capacity. The lawsuits, filed by the local businesses themselves, were joined by Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R).
On Monday, Court of Appeals Judge Glenn Acree upheld the rulings by previous judges, allowing their restraining orders to stay in place.
“The Court of Appeals committed clear error by refusing to dissolve temporary restraining orders entered by the circuit courts without any basis under the law,” says the petition. “These order dangerously impair and impede the Petioners’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing 548 agritourism businesses to operate without following any requirements or guidance to protect anyone from COVID-19, and by allowing daycares across Kentucky to have 28 children in a room at a time when COVID-19 is increasingly endangering Kentucky children.”
Beshear’s decision to move the case to the Supreme Court, according to the petition, is that the more time the case spends in courts, the more time the virus has to spread.
“The harm caused by the Court of Appeals’ decision to allow the TROs to remain in effect will be immediate, it will be ruinous, and it will be irreparable,” the petition says. “For this reason, Petitioners do not have an adequate remedy but for this Court’s issuance of the requested writ.”